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The Global Women’s Movement Essay

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2020

Introduction

Women play a greater role in the society today; their global population is more than that of men hence making them very important. The important duties undertaken by women in the society cannot be ignored because of the fact that their participation in provision on labor has increased over the years. Due to globalization, women have taken up new roles in the fast changing society as a means of survival (Chowdhry, 2008). The role of women in the family today has changed drastically with more women in the developed and developing nations taking the role of bread winners in their families. This change has been brought about by globalization and changes in the society especially in the developing nations.

Global Women

In Hochschild’s book we get to witnesses the role of women in different societies around the globe. The book discusses on issue to deal with feminization of migration, in the book the author delves into the issue of work and the effect on the lives of women in rich and poor nations. Research has shown that more women are in work today than they were twenty years ago; this paradigm shift in the society has seen more men out of work today and changes roles of women in the family (Antrobus, 2004).

For instance in the rich nations like the United States, women have taken up career jobs and today they make up close to 40% of the workforce there. As a result, traditional role of women as care givers to their children has been left to nannies and maids from poor countries such as Philippines and Sri Lanka. These women migrate from their countries due to poverty and low wage income since unemployment levels in their countries’ is high and their husbands cannot support their families (Ehrenreich, 2004).

Inequality and poverty in third world countries push women to work in developed foreign nations as nannies, maids or sex workers to meet the needs of their families and themselves. In the wealthier countries there is a care deficit and therefore foreign maids are hired to fill this void, they provide care to children of women who have devoted their time to employment. The change of women roles in the society today has created negative effects such as deprivation of maternal love on the side of migrant women nannies towards their families. Some of the migrant nannies, maids and sex workers are exploited by their bosses through mistreatment, sexual slavery; all these acts display an underside of globalization (Ehrenreich, 2004).

Issues facing Global Women

Hochschild’s book takes an in-depth look into women’s issues through life in the perspective of employment and care giving towards their families. The book contains several essays with examples of how women go about in realizing their roles in society and several challenges they face. The first essay we going to analyze is entitled love and gold, in this essay we encounter a woman by the name of Rowena who hails from Philippines.

She provides care to a child in USA as a nanny in order for her to feed her family back at home through remittances. Some of the challenges that concern Rowena include the fact that she stays away from her children for many years thus making her children lack maternal love (Ehrenreich, 2004). Rowena’s stay from her children has created a huge gap in the development of her children leading to poor grades in school and stress which could to fatal incidences such as suicide.

Rowena’s case raises the concern of love being a resource, because Rowena cannot be able to provide love for her children, she instead displaces this love to Noa. This case shows that parents in the First world give an opportunity to women from poor countries to redirect their love through care giving (Chowdhry, 2008).

By doing so, the women in the first world ignore the needs of people like Rowena to show love to their children. Another essay looks at Rudy Montoya; according to him he does not view her mother job in Hong Kong as abandonment in providing care for him. Instead he views her mother’s actions as a sacrifice made to him and therefore he draws affection from this act. Children like Rudy understand the reasons why their mothers migrated to work in Hong Kong and other First world countries. Though Rudy and other children like him did not experience love from their mothers, they resolve their emotional insecurity by working to repay the favors done by their mothers (Harley, 2007).

Globalization, Migration and Policies

Globalization and migration are related as witnessed in Hochschild’s book where the ever changing world has accommodated the feminization of migration. Due to globalization, women in the First world are now more engaged in employment and therefore have less time to take of their children and leave these duties to nannies and maids from poor countries. Globalization has affected many poor countries making life for their citizens more difficult and therefore women being the primary care givers in their societies are employed from poor countries as a means of catering for their families (Antrobus, 2004).

Women who work as nannies or maids in First world countries do this out of desperation, since they have no option but work due to the fact that they cannot secure employment at home. Globalization during the 1980’s led to developed nations growing at a fast pace leaving the poor nations to grow poorer through debts sourced from developed nations. As a result of development of First world nations most of their women took formal employment leading to a care deficit for their children thus they result to hiring nannies from third world countries (Fauve-Chamoux, 2004).

In order to addresses the inequality originating from globalization that leads to women from poor countries migrating to developed nations to do menial jobs, prudent policies have to be implemented. Due to the fact that love given to children by their nannies from poor countries is genuine and not highly appreciated, love is classified as a resource (Harley, 2007).

Therefore employers should show concern and acknowledge the help they receive from these women by allowing them to migrate with their small children. Employers as a sign of appreciation could pay these foreign workers better pay. Major laws should be ratified by all nations under special charters advocated by the United Nations; these laws will be used to protect women working in foreign nations. Some of the provisions of the laws that should include measures which curb against exploitation, mistreatment and recognition by law as workers in foreign countries (Ferree, 2006).

Countries should co-operate between themselves in a way that ensures that once women migrate to countries for foreign work, the first world countries will provide security for them and ensure that laws on minimum wage are enforced.

Personal View

The issue of globalization and the feminization of migration should be taken serious by all stakeholders and the global society. According to me, serious concerns of exploitation, sexual slavery, mistreatment or minimum wage should be addressed. The women who provide care to children sacrifice their love for their children in order to retransmit this love to their employer’s children. Due to the important role of care givers, the society should acknowledge and respect the duties undertaken by these women. In my view, laws should be set up under organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), to protect nannies or maids and sexual workers from exploitation (Ferree, 2006).

Governments should also be forced to ratify these laws or else heavy penalties will be levied on them. Due to the social nature of human beings in my view, the developed nations should participate in uplifting lives of people in poor countries with an aim of avoiding the increased immigration of women to their countries in such of jobs (Fauve-Chamoux, 2004). As a result these women will get better jobs at their home countries.

Conclusion

The issue of migration of women to the First World to work as nannies or maids or to take up the role of care givers should be looked at from several perspectives. Most of these women are coerced to work in these nations due to poverty or unemployment and have no option but to take up these jobs. The monies remitted by nannies or maids are used in feeding, educating and uplifting lives of many people. Therefore their employers as well as their society back at home should give enough support to them through various initiatives and laws, for them to feel appreciated and their rights protected.

References

Antrobus, P. (2004). The global women’s movement: origins, issues and strategies. Chicago, IL: Zed Books. Web.

Chowdhry, P. (2008). Women, welfare, and development: a source book. New Delhi: Inter- India Publications. Web.

Ehrenreich, B. & Hochschild, A. R. (2004). Global woman: nannies, maids, and sex workers in the new economy. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Co. Web.

Fauve-Chamoux, A. (2004). Domestic service and the formation of European identity: understanding the globalization of domestic work, 16th-21st centuries. London: Peter Lang. Web.

Ferree, M. & Tripp, A. (2006). Global feminism: transnational women’s activism, organizing, and human rights. New York, NY: NYU Press. Web.

Harley, S. (2007). Women’s labor in the global economy: speaking in multiple voices. Cambridge, MA: Rutgers University Press. Web.

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