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Born Out of PlaceMigrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor$
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Nicole Constable

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282018

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282018.001.0001

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(p.56) 3 Women
Born Out of Place

Nicole Constable

University of California Press

This chapter highlights gender, particularly the position of women migrants as workers in relation to what Silvey aptly calls the “gendered tensions of modernity.” Tensions exist between women’s roles overseas as migrant workers and their expected roles at home as wives, mothers, and daughters. Migrant women generate deep national and public anxiety and pose practical challenges to sending states, whose duty is to protect their citizens. This chapter situates the fifty-five Indonesian and Filipino mothers I formally interviewed and the over eighty mothers in the wider study in relation to cultural and demographic patterns (including age, religion, marital status, and education). It also highlights how the vulnerabilities of domestic workers are compounded by employment policies and practices, especially overcharging by employment agencies and Hong Kong’s the two-week rule and live-in requirement.

Keywords:   gender/women, policies, overcharging, employment agencies, marriage, two-week rule, live-in requirement, Indonesia, Philippines, Religion, Islam, Roman Catholicism

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