1. What do we mean by global care chains? • a transnational chain whereby people move from one country (usually a poorer country) to a richer country to undertake care of children, the sick and the elderly. • These women migrants usually have children and/or aging parents of their own in their home countries.
While I am at work, I leave my daughter with a friend of mine – also a Filipina. My friend takes care of my daughter and also other Filipino workers’ children while we are working. I pay her 350,000won ($350) a month. My friend actually gave a birth of her third child, but she sent her baby to the Philippines because of this care work – if her baby is here with her, she could not take care of our children. Sending her own child to the Philippine to take care of other children…yes, it is quite irony, isn’t it? (Brenda, 37, Filipina) Filipina care worker who is working for an American diplomat in Korea (Julia Shin)
‘The care deficit’ • Demand for care workers in richer countries • Burden of reproductive labour still centres on women, in richer countries • This has led to commodification of care work • Global ramifications through employment of migrant labour
Care Drain or Care Exchange? Not a simple binary: primordialist sunshine modernist critical modernist (Hochschild) Solution 1. Economic development of the sending country Solution 2. Raising the value of caring work Global woman : nannies, maids and sex workers in the new economy / edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild (WUL)
Emotional engagement in care work I am taking care of employer’s two children. Because the work is too hard, I want to quit. But, I am hesitating at the moment. I am so attached to these children. The older child who is 6 year-old has taken to me by calling me ‘grandma’. I feel sorry to abandon the children by leaving this employer. (Kim, 69, Korean-Chinese) .
I’m working for an American family in Seoul. My main job is taking care of the employer’s daughter. My work is organised according to the daughter’s morning and afternoon routine. I clean the house and do some chores while the daughter is at a nursery school. When she comes back from the school at 11 a.m., there are reading time, painting time and playing time. Whenever I do these things with her, I’m thinking about my own daughter. I cannot do these things with her. I read for her at night, but not for very long. I am putting more efforts for the major’s daughter. But, I’m doing this job for a financial reason – I’m doing for my kids and my family’s happiness. (Carol, 40, Filipina)
When I left my son in the Philippines, he was only 8 months old. I have not seen him for 14 years. He was a baby when I left the Philippine, but now he is 14 years old – a teenager! My mother has raised him in the Philippines. I send US$400 to my mother in every month and I bought a house for my son and mother. I am saving some money to buy a motorbike for my son because he asked me. I told him, “if you study hard, I will buy one soon”. I know that he is bit young for having his own motorbike and maybe I am spoiling him, but I want to show him that I love him. Because we have been apart for a so long time, this is only way to show my love to him. (Jenny, 34, Filipina)
Transnational ‘mothers’: the story of the other end of the care chain Parrenas, R. (2005) ‘Long distance intimacy: loss, gender and intergenerational relations between mothers and children in Filipino transnational households’, Global Networks, 5(4):317-336 - remittances - nurturing ‘mothers contest the myth of the male breadwinner but retain the myth of the female homemakers. This paradox unfortunately impedes the reconstitution of gender caused by the greater income contributions of migrant women to the family’ (Parrenas, 2005:334).
The feminisation of international migration and transnational sexual division of labour • Feminisation of labour/ implications • Women as agents