Title: Philippines: Job migration of women.
Source: Women's International Network News, Spring94, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p65, 1/2p
Abstract: Reports on the job migration of women in the Philippines. Influence of women's traditional reproductive and domestic roles in employment opportunities overseas; Greater number of women seeking employment overseas as compared to men; Implications of the trend; Health concerns.


DEPTHNEWS Women's Feature

"In the Philippines, in many cases, it is the women who leave for employment elsewhere. But their traditional reproductive and domestic roles lead them to take on lobs that are extensions of these roles, such as domestic work, hotel work and entertaining. Industrial zones employ young women for the assembly lines and for tasks that are -- like household chores -- repetitive, low-paying and monotonous."

"Dr. Danguilan, a health policy consultant to the Senate President, reveals that in urban migration, women outnumber the men in almost all age groups. The 1988 census shows that female migrants aged 15-24 years old comprise almost half of all women migrants in the Philippines. From 1983 to 1988, some 406,000 women in the countryside migrated to urban areas compared to only 218,000 men."

"In the mid-1970s, one of the major attractions offered by the Philippines to foreign investors was the abundance of cheap, efficient and obedient women to work in companies involved mainly in textiles and garments and electronics. Unskilled and semi-skilled young women nationwide were drawn to the industrial and export processing zones."

"The heavy influx of tourists has likewise resulted in the 'professionalisation' of entertainers and hospitality girls, hostesses and waitresses, thus promoting the flourishing of the sex trade.

Migration acts as a mirror of what is happening in the labour market at large, says Dr. Danguilan. Since the global market demands gender-specific jobs, this consequently leads to patterns of migration that are also gender-differentiated. ."

"A 1990 survey of the socio-economic backgrounds of women entertainers in Angeles City showed that 89 percent are migrants. Some 38 percent of them come from Central Philippines provinces, usually the economically depressed provinces of Leyte and Samar. The same survey showed most of the migrants to be in their late teens and early 20s. . . There is an increase of female single parents who, while working abroad, are divorced or abandoned by their husbands and partners. 11.3 percent of Filipino households were headed by women, according to the 1990 census. . ."

"Health concerns are similarly disturbing. Among young women in the export and industrial processing zones, there are documented cases of eye strain, muscular aches, respiratory tract infections, allergies and physical injuries. . . For workers going overseas, there is the risk of being overwhelmed by loneliness, a sense of alienation and anguish, made worse by experiences of oppression and abuse. . . Migration levels and patterns are the result of global labour market demands, but they also reflect the inferior status of women. . ."

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