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This blog is dedicated to women from Sri lanka and Ethiopia working as domestic workers in Beirut, Lebano
n. These women take upon themselves great voyages to foreign countries in the hope of a better future. Their courage and endurance is outstanding.

As time passes, the issues covered in this blog have expanded to cover other kinds of specific women's work like sex work, historical ways of describing the plight of women: white slavery, human traffic or modern slavery as well identitarian politics and gender...

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6 janvier 2007 6 06 /01 /janvier /2007 03:13

Global Women: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy
Edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild
New York: Holt, 2002
336 pp. $15

IN THEIR EDITED COLLECTION, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochschild write that Third World women are on the move as never before, filling jobs in the "homes, nurseries, and brothels of the First World" (2002). The rushed and materialistic societies of the First World leave working parents little time to look after their children or their own parents. Women migrating from poor countries fill the gap. The migrants meet the personal needs of families looking for child care, of the disabled struggling to stay in their own homes, of employers wanting help with their elderly parents, and of male sex tourists looking for young, cheap, and compliant women.

The jobs the migrants fill are among the worst available, but women move to get them, drawn by the prospect of supporting themselves and, even more important, contributing to their parents' or children's upkeep. Increasingly, mothers of young children are joining these migrant workers, often living away from their children for years at a time. Fast travel has brought the world closer together, but these women do not have the money or time to make many return trips to see their children, who know them mainly from phone calls. Despite the mothers' anguish at the separation, they want to safeguard their children's futures even while they cannot comfort or enjoy them in daily life. The radical inequality between the First and Third worlds makes the wages of even exploitative jobs outstrip those available to the women in their own countries, causing separations of mothers and children almost unimaginable to the more privileged.

Global Woman's sixteen chapters are mainly based on fieldwork and are lively and compelling. The editors, both excellent writers themselves, have chosen vivid accounts. Most have been previously published, but they form a coherent and thought-provoking overview of the terrible dilemmas facing women who must choose between earning and caring, or at least, between earning and caring for their own families. The irony of women being hired to care for their employers' children while their own are far away has often been uncomfortably noted but only recently has it become a major focus of research and political analysis.

 Read the rest: http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue39/Wrigley39.htm

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