Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Today in Labour History

25 May 1957

'Black Girls'

Afro-Surinamese women can be considered as the corner stone of Dutch society when it comes to caring for elderly and sick people. Their numbers in the care sector are very significant. In the 1960s, there was a growing demand for care of the elderly in domiciliary form, offering a service which had to combine some sanitary care with housekeeping and simply providing company. This type of domiciliary work was not considered as desirable by many white women. During this same period, many Afro-Surinamese women in the possession of Dutch citizenship were arriving in the Netherlands. Care agencies channelled the great supply of workers into  a burgeoning labour niche.

Read about the narratives of these workers: Sabrina Marchetti, Black Girls. Migrant Domestic Workers and Colonial Legacies (Leiden 2014)

More info: Black Girls (IISH Publication)