Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007
JALA PRT ( Pekerja Rumah Tangga )


This profile was prepared when Lita Anggraini was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
In a country with more domestic workers than any other in the world, Lita has created an education system that empowers young female workers to take an active role in changing their conditions and societal attitudes toward them. Her goal is to change the way society values the contribution of domestic workers so that their rights as both workers and citizens are protected. To transform deeply ingrained attitudes toward women, women’s work, and the relationships between employers and informal employees, domestic workers must take a leading role. Lita’s new educational system teaches domestic workers life skills; trains them about their rights as workers, women (because the vast majority are women), and citizens; and gives them the skills they need to negotiate fair contracts with their employers. While Lita provides alternative learning opportunities, she has designed her system to encourage young domestic workers to seek more formal educational opportunities as well. The idea that domestic workers should be educated and taught to negotiate written contracts with their employers is new in Indonesia. As a result of her program, workers become more competent and more confident, and employees and employers have begun to communicate about their rights and responsibilities.
To raise awareness of the problems faced by domestic workers, Lita is helping the women to lead a public campaign. She has established a space in which domestic workers can meet to socialize, share their problems, and seek advice. With Lita’s assistance, they have organized the first-ever domestic workers’ union, which advocates for their rights. Lita realizes that ensuring those rights requires policies that guarantee legal and institutional support, as well as a shift in attitudes and relationships at the personal and societal level.
With this in mind, Lita is changing the legal status of domestic workers through both negotiated contracts and legislation on the regional and national levels. She is the founder and chairperson of a national support group which conducts research on the conditions of domestic workers throughout the country, advocates for their rights, raises awareness, and shares strategies for drafting legislation.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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