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“The host societies of migrant Filipina domestic workers should also be held more accountable for their welfare and for that of their families. These women's work allows First World women to enter the paid labor force. As one Dutch employer states, "There are people who would look after children, but other things are more fun. Carers from other countries, if we can use their surplus carers, that's a solution.”—
The Care Crisis in the Philippines: Children and Transnational Families in the New Global Economy by Rhacel Salazar Parrena
Most receiving countries have yet to recognize the contributions of their migrant care workers. They have consistently ignored these workers’ rights and limited their full incorporation into society. The wages of migrant workers are so low that they cannot afford to bring their own families to join them, or to regularly visit their children in the Philippines; relegated to the status of guest workers, they are restricted to the low-wage employment sector, and with very few exceptions, the migration of their spouses and children is also restricted.” These arrangements work to the benefit of employers, since migrant care workers can give the best possible care for their employers’ families when they are free of care-giving responsibilities to their own families. But there is a dire need to lobby for more inclusive policies,and for employers to develop a sense of accountability for their workers’ children. After all, migrant workers significantly help their employers to reduce their families’ care deficit.
I’d like to draw the attention of white feminists here. Why are immigrants’ rights, and the rights of domestics who are women of color, not an intregal part of your platform? Why isn’t Caitlin Moran, Jessica Valentine, or any other major white feminist talking about the care crisis in third world nations as impoverished women facing daunting lives move to entirely new worlds to take care of WHITE CHILDREN so that WHITE WOMEN can go to work?
Your advocacy, your movement, is built on the backs of THESE WOMEN and Black women who have had to IGNORE THEIR OWN FAMILIES, THEIR OWN CHILDREN, SO THAT YOU COULD LEAVE THE HOUSE.
If there is ever an issue that is FOUNDATIONAL to the lives of well-to-do white women or Western feminists in general, it is the appalling way domestic workers are treated. While that Caribbean nanny, Black mami, or Filipina au pair takes care of your child, did you ever stop to think about their families and the lives they’ve left behind?
How without immigrants or women of color, white women wouldn’t be able to work at their own leisure? That white men wouldn’t enjoy the knowledge that there is no such thing as a care crisis in America?
“We talk about employment or staying home as a matter of choice, which obscures what it takes to make that choice: money and a mate. Do books praising the stay-home life ever suggest that if it’s really best for children, the government, which supposedly cares about their well-being, should make that possible for every family? The extraordinary hostility aimed at low-income and single mothers shows that what’s at issue is not children—who can thrive under many different arrangements as long as they have love, safety, respect, a reasonable standard of living. It’s women. Rich ones like Ann Romney are lauded for staying home. Poor ones need the 'dignity of work'—ideally 'from day one.'”—Ann Romney, Working Woman? | Katha Pollitt
“So you’ve heard that the Senate proposed a bipartisan plan to reform immigration laws on Monday which proposes pathways to citizenship — as well as an increase in border patrol. While the question of how same sex couples will be addressed under the law is still up in the air, Bryce Covert for The Nation points out that there’s another group that was excluded from the proposal’s fast tracked path to citizenship: domestic workers. Immigration is most definitely a feminist issue. As we’ve reported on this blog before, our nation’s blatantly discriminatory labor field reflects onto the domestic work sphere–a sphere that lacks even basic labor standards. The overwhelming majority of domestic workers are women, and workers of color make up 54% of the domestic workforce. 23 percent of workers are paid below the state minimum wage, and undocumented domestic workers are paid about 20% less than those who are U.S. citizens.”—Lori Adelman, “Quick Hit: Where Are The Domestic Workers In Immigration Reform?”, Feministing 1/30/13
“While in western states, the availability of cheap domestic work is thought of as a supplement, and an important one at that, to female paid employment, this wisdom does not seem to hold true in the Arab world. Female employment in the region is one of the lowest in the world, averaging at no more than twenty-six percent of the labor force and mostly concentrated in the public sector, itself undergoing shrinkage as a result of privatization. The majority of women among the poor work in the informal economy, which includes domestic work. The supply of local domestic workers is compounded by an even bigger supply of very cheap foreign domestic workers hailing from various Asian and African countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast. The wages of such servants are so low that a good one seventh of all households in the Arab world employ either a local or a foreign domestic worker. Even for those who could not afford them, hiring a domestic servant is something to aspire to as one would rise in the world. In short, a large number of Arab housewives find themselves in the (enviable?) position of having cheap maids with nowhere else to go for paid employment.”—Read more on Of Wife and the Domestic Servant in the Arab World
khmer domestic migrant workers abused in malaysia
It pisses me off to read how horrible the conditions are for Khmer domestic migrant workers over in Malaysia. I don’t understand why their employers has to have so much anger and hate in their blood towards their employee(s). The migrant workers just want to do their job and earn money for themselves and for their family thousands of miles away. They should not have to face an abusive employer(s) every day or every other day. Just because they are domestic workers does not mean they should be treated like crap.
When men think they are very modern because they "help" their girlfriend / wife with the household
“Helping” implies that it’s her job. Each human being has to eat, needs clean clothes and a clean shelter etc., so if you’re a human being, do your share!
Counting domestic and care work (which is still made primarily women’s duty) women around the globe work in average around one hour more per day than men.
(World Development Report 2012 - Worldbank)
I did my presentation on domestic workers today!
Im pretty sure my teacher liked it because she got up in the middle of my presentation after I played this video and just started talking…A LOT.
I explained to them that this was an old video and the bill didn’t pass because it was vetoed by Gov. Brown.
This white lady in the class starts talking…cuz ya know her opinion is SUPER important. I have a habit of tuning people out so all I heard her say was ‘aliens’
Im thinking…dumb bitch Im getting there. Just wait
On my last slide I had a video from a segment Melissa Harris-Perry did on domestic workers. Annette Bernhart also used the term alien in the video.
I ended my presentation letting everyone know the correct terminology.
Guess who quickly apologized as I sat in my seat