Women’s labour migration in the context of globalisation January 2013 Andrea Spehar PhD Political Science Oksana S Green PhD in Sociology
Current trends in women’s migration Women currently make up around half of the world’s estimated 210 million international migrants
Current trends in women’s migration • Women are, to a lesser degree today than previously, migrating as ’family dependents’ with their husbands or to join their husbands abroad. Instead women migrate independently (or with their families) as main income earners • Women’s labour migration is primarily stimulated by large economic and social inequalities in the world • Women tend to be disadvantaged in the process of migration compared to men and face multiple challenges and adverse conditions based on the intersection of gender, age, nationality, class and ethnicity. • The disadvantaged position of many migrant women leads repeatedly to increased exploitation and a growing vulnerability of their health, bodily integrity and well-being.
Women’s low-skill labour migration • A majority of low-skilled women migrants in the service sector. In the industrial sector (manufacturing) women and men are equally represented • Enterprise cleaning services, hotels, restaurants, catering, domestic work and tourism • Most jobs in these occupations are performed informally by undocumented workers • Workings conditions within these sectors characterised by insecure working conditions, low wages and a lack of social protection. • In most migration flows involving high-skilled employment – obviously less likely to take place under exploitative conditions – women are in a minority.
Why is it so difficult to uphold and enforce migrant women rights? • Today, MDWs a formal topic on the agenda of many migration-related conferences and forums • 2011 – ILO Convention and accompanying Recommendation on decent work for domestic workers • Minimum wage, working hours, day of rest in a week, overtime wages, terms of employment, social security, and maternity protection.
MIGRANT WOMEN IN THE EUROPEAN UNION • In European labour markets there is an increasing trend of informalisation, flexibilisation and casualisation of work.
Circular migration as a new vision for the European Union • Growing need for labour migration in to Europe • Close connection between migration and development • Accute need for new regulation of illicit migration in to Europe • GCIM (2005), Global Approach to Migration (EC 2005), Migration and development (EC2005a), Circular migration and mobility partnerships (EC2007), EU conference on Labour migration and it’s potential in the age of mobility (2009) • Parliamentary committe for Circular Migration in Sweden 2009
No strict defition of the concept • Life-circule perspective on migration • Spontaneous rather than managed migration • Three major groups of migrants: labour migrants, international students and entrepreneurs • New rules for labour migration 2008 • Political will to promote labour mobility • Unutilised capacity of Swedish diaspora and immigrants in Sweden Responce to circular migration In Sweden 10-06-28
Domestic work and migration in Europe • Growing demand and importance of MDW (especially care work) for the European economy and the welfare • However, domestic work is undervalued, invisible, poorly regulated and performed maily in the informal sector • Domestic workers vulnerable to abuses of fundamental human rights (forced labour, child labour and discrimination)