Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Insecurity
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Migration, Gender and Social Justice: Perspectives on Human Insecurity

By Tanh-Dam Truong
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Book Description

This book is the product of a collaborative effort involving partners from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America who were funded by the International Development Research Centre Programme on Women and Migration (2006-2011). The International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam spearheaded a project intended to distill and refine the research findings, connecting them to broader literatures and interdisciplinary themes. The book examines commonalities and differences in the operation of various structures of power (gender, class, race/ethnicity, generation) and their interactions within the institutional domains of intra-national and especially inter-national migration that produce context-specific forms of social injustice. Additional contributions have been included so as to cover issues of legal liminality and how the social construction of not only femininity but also masculinity affects all migrants and all women. The resulting set of 19 detailed, interconnected case studies makes a valuable contribution to reorienting our perceptions and values in the discussions and decision-making concerning migration, and to raising awareness of key issues in migrants’ rights.



All chapters were anonymously peer-reviewed. This book resulted from a series of projects funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

Table of Contents
  • Migration, Gender and Social Justice
    • Contents
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Part I Introduction
      • 1 Migration, Gender, Social Justice, and Human Insecurity
        • 1.1 Context of the Book
        • 1.2 Concepts and Objectives
          • 1.2.1 From International Migration to Transnational Mobility
          • 1.2.2 Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Migration: Siting the Power of Denial
          • 1.2.3 Gender as a Social Structure and Structuring Process
          • 1.2.4 From Citizenship and Legal Liminality to Acknowledging Multiple Scales of Social Justice
          • 1.2.5 From Human Security as Protection of People on the Move to Critical Studies of Borders and Belonging
        • 1.3 Overview of the Chapters
          • 1.3.1 Social Reproduction, Gender, and Migration: Local-Global Interactions
          • 1.3.2 Women and Internal Migration: Visibility, Rights, and Livelihood Security
          • 1.3.3 Intersectionality in Migration and the Complexity of Gender
          • 1.3.4 Liminal Legality, Citizenship, and Migrant Rights Mobilization
          • 1.3.5 Migration Regimes, Gender Norms, and Public Action
        • References
    • Part II Transformation of Social Reproduction Systems and Migration: Local-GlobalInteractions
      • 2 From Breaking the Silence to Breaking the Chain of Social Injustice: Indonesian Women Migrant Domestic Workers in the United Ara
        • Abstract³
        • 2.1 Introduction
        • 2.2 Framing Domestic Labour from the Perspective of Gender Equality: Context, Issues, and Implications
        • 2.3 The Place of Domestic Work in Indonesian National Law on Labour Migration and the UAE Labour Law
          • 2.3.1 Domestic Work Undefined in Migration Law in Indonesia
          • 2.3.2 Exclusion of the Category of Domestic Worker in the UAE’s Federal Law No. 8 and the Role of the Kafala System
        • 2.4 Recruitment and Placement as a Business: The View from Condet and the Voices of Women Domestic Workers in Abu Dhabi
          • 2.4.1 Field Research Methodology
          • 2.4.2 Condet as a One-stop Service Centre
          • 2.4.3 The Weight of Dysfunctional Law and Policy on Domestic Workers: Voices from the Embassy’s Shelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
        • 2.5 Conclusion
        • References
      • 3 From Temporary Work in Agriculture to Irregular Status in Domestic Service: The Transition and Experiences of Senegalese Migrant
        • Abstract³
        • 3.1 Introduction
        • 3.2 Methodology
        • 3.3 Senegalese migration to the EU and Spain: A Brief History and Institutional Framework
        • 3.4 The Temporary Agricultural Work Scheme: Process and Outcomes
        • 3.5 Becoming a Migrant with Irregular Immigration Status: Senegalese Women in the Domestic Work Sector in Spain
        • 3.6 Working Without Being Visible: A Denial of Existence
        • 3.7 Seeking Access to Social Protection Rights
        • 3.8 Conclusions
        • References
      • 4 Burmese Female Migrant Workers in Thailand: Managing Productive and Reproductive Responsibilities
        • Abstract
        • 4.1 Introduction
        • 4.2 Research Methodology and Context
        • 4.3 Regulation and Control of Migrant Factory Workers in Thailand’s Border Areas
          • 4.3.1 Creating ‘Cheap Labour’ for Thailand’s Export Industries
          • 4.3.2 Restricting Women Migrant Workers’ Mobility
        • 4.4 Gender and the Daily Reproduction of Labour Power
        • 4.5 Gender and Generational Reproduction of Labour Power
        • 4.6 Women Migrant Workers in Mae Sot’s Export Factories: Negotiating Political, Economic, and Gendered Constraints
        • 4.7 Conclusion
        • References
      • 5 Transnational Marriage Migration and the East Asian Family-Based Welfare Model: Social Reproduction in Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea
        • Abstract
        • 5.1 Introduction
        • 5.2 Viewing Commercially Arranged Transnational Marriages from the Perspective of Social Reproduction
          • 5.2.1 Defining Transnational Marriages
          • 5.2.2 Social Reproduction and the Reproductive Bargain: A Perspective on Transnational Marriages
        • 5.3 Different Places, Different Social Reproduction Crisis
          • 5.3.1 The East Asian Family-Based Welfare Regime and Transnational Marriages: Deterioration of the Confucian Family?
          • 5.3.2 Social Reproduction Crisis in Vietnam: A Focus on the Rural Sector
        • 5.4 Market Response: Arranging Marriages, Earning Profits, and Constructing ‘Modernity’
        • 5.5 Reproductive Bargaining in the Host Societies: Social Positioning, Self-Consciousness, and Dignity
        • 5.6 Conclusion
        • References
      • 6 Masculinity at Work: Intersectionality and Identity Constructions of Migrant Domestic Workers in the Netherlands
        • Abstract³
        • 6.1 Introduction
        • 6.2 Hegemonic Gender Identities – Concept and Context
        • 6.3 Domestic Work and the Production of Migrant Identities
        • 6.4 Contextualising Migrant Domestic Workers’ Experiences in the Netherlands
        • 6.5 Research Methodology
        • 6.6 Balancing Migrant Domestic Work with Gender Identity
        • 6.7 Domestic Work at the Intersection of Class, Race, and Gender
        • 6.8 Conclusion
        • References
    • Part III The State and Female Internal Migration: Rights and Livelihood Security
      • 7 Traversing Myriad Trails: Tracking Gender and Labour Migration across India
        • Abstract³
        • 7.1 Introduction
        • 7.2 Gender, Migration, and Development Paradigms: Interrogating the Database
        • 7.3 Gendering the Macro-view on Labour Migration in India
        • 7.4 CWDS Gender and Migration Surveys: Constructing a Mesolevel View
        • 7.5 Of Temporary and Permanent Migration: Developing a Typology
        • 7.6 Types of Migration and Caste Hierarchies
        • 7.7 Patterns of Change in Women’s Occupations through Migration: Diversification or Concentration?
        • 7.8 Of Contractors and Independence: Modes and Manner of Migration.
        • 7.9 Concluding Remarks
        • References
      • 8 From ‘Integration into Cities’ to ‘An Integrated Society’: Women Migrants’ Needs and Rights in Fujian Province, China
        • Abstract²
        • 8.1 Introduction: Studying Migrants’ Differentiated Needs
        • 8.2 Progress in Migrants’ Rights Protection in China within the Current Urban-Centred and Residence-Based Approach
        • 8.3 Women Migrants’ Rights and Aspects of Gender Differences
          • 8.3.1 Fujian and Fuzhou Surveys and Subsequent In-depth Interviews: Research Design
          • 8.3.2 Low Educational Attainment and Unequal Access to Educational Opportunities
          • 8.3.3 Vulnerability in Employment and Income
            • 8.3.3.1 Insecurity and Instability in Employment
            • 8.3.3.2 Segmented Nature of Employment, Little Upward Occupational Mobility, and Age Discrimination
            • 8.3.3.3 Insignificant Roles of Governments and Intermediaries in Providing Employment Information and Training
            • 8.3.3.4 Employers’ Domination in Determining the Migrant Pay and Gender Gap in Income
            • 8.3.3.5 Excessive Overtime
          • 8.3.4 Low Social Insurance Coverage and Unequal Access to Urban Public Services
            • 8.3.4.1 Very Low Proportion of Female Migrants Covered by Various Social Insurance Programmes
            • 8.3.4.2 Migrants’ Unequal Access to Urban Public Services: Housing and Children’s Education
            • 8.3.4.3 Lack of Awareness and Channels for Rights Protection
        • 8.4 Female Migrants’ Complex and Diverse Migration Flows: Limits of the Urban-Centred and Residence-Based Approach
          • 8.4.1 The Mobility Patterns of Women Migrants: Beyond the Conceptualization of a Rural-Urban One-Way Transition
          • 8.4.2 Reassessing the Needs of Female Migrants for Rights Protection: Current Inadequacies
        • 8.5 Policy Suggestions: Seeking New Approaches for the Protection of the Rights of Female Migrants
          • 8.5.1 From ‘Urban Integration’ to ‘SocietalIntegration’: Extending Temporal and Spatial Coverage of the Protection of the Rights of Female Migrants and Respecting their Diverse Needs
          • 8.5.2 Upgrading the Efforts in Addressing the Rights of Migrants: Shifting From a ‘Survival-Oriented’ to a ‘DevelopmentOriented’ Appro
          • 8.5.3 Developing a Clear Legal and Institutional Framework that Defines the Rights of Migrants and Obligations of Governments: Towards
        • References
      • 9 Migration, Woodcarving, and Engendered Identities in San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico
        • Abstract
        • 9.1 Introduction
        • 9.2 Human Security and Social Justice
        • 9.3 Research Position: Social Representations Theory and Feminist Critical Ethnography
          • 9.3.1 Social Representations Theory
          • 9.3.2 SRT and Critical Feminist Ethnography
        • 9.4 Migration, Gender, and Woodcarving in San Martín Tilcajete
          • 9.4.1 Setting the scene: San Martín Tilcajete
          • 9.4.2 Migration in San Martín Tilcajete
          • 9.4.3 Male Migration in San Martín Tilcajete
          • 9.4.4 Woodcarving in San Martín Tilcajete
        • 9.5 Women and Migration in San Martín Tilcajete
          • 9.5.1 Female Migration in Tilcajete
          • 9.5.2 Case Study Examples: The Women Who Stay Behind
            • 9.5.2.1 Case of Adriana [DAD, R, 18–25] and Erika [DAE, R, 40–45]
            • 9.5.2.2 Case of Cristina [all citations are from DTC, R, 30–35]
          • 9.5.3 Summarized Findings of the Study: List of Implications and Costs
        • 9.6 Concluding Remarks
        • References
      • 10 Strategic Invisibility as Everyday Politics for a Life with Dignity: Guatemalan Women Migrants’ Experiences of Insecurity at Mex
        • Abstract³
        • 10.1 Introduction
        • 10.2 Contextualizing Migration at Mexico’s Southern Border
        • 10.3 Stories of Guatemalan Women Migrating to Mexico
        • 10.4 Understanding Strategic In/ visibility
        • 10.5 Reflection on In/visibility as a Form of Everyday Politics
        • 10.6 Conclusions
        • References
    • Part IV Complexity of Gender: Embodiment and Intersectionality
      • 11 Masculinities and Intersectionality in Migration: Transnational Wolof Migrants Negotiating Manhood and Gendered Family Roles
        • Abstract
        • 11.1 Introduction
        • 11.2 Framing Migrant Men: Transnational Families, Intersectionality, and Hegemonic Masculinity
        • 11.3 ‘Breadwinning’ and Other Markers of Manhood for Senegalese Migrants within their Transnational Families
        • 11.4 Challenges to Manhood and Emerging Masculinities in the Transnational Family Sphere
        • 11.5 Conclusion
        • References
      • 12 Intersectionality, Structural Vulnerability, and Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: Filipina Domestic Workers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Qatar
        • 12 Abstract
        • 12.1 Introduction
        • 12.2 Understanding SRH from the Perspective of Intersectionality and Structural Vulnerability
        • 12.3 Power, Transience, and the Structural Vulnerability of Domestic Workers to SRH Problems
          • 12.3.1 Regulating Domestic Work in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Qatar: Implications for Workers’ SRH
        • 12.4 Individual SRH Problems and Intersecting Power Relations
        • 12.5 Conclusion
        • References
      • 13 Sub-Saharan Migrants’ Masculinities: An Intersectional Analysis of Media Representations during the Libyan War 2011
        • Abstract
        • 13.1 Introduction
        • 13.2 Understanding Masculinities Through the Lens of Intersectionality
        • 13.3 The Production of Vulnerabilities and Instrumentalization of Migrants in Libyan Regulatory Migration Regimes
        • 13.4 Symbolic Violence and Media Representations of the Libyan Conflict
        • 13.5 Visibilizing the Role of Media in the Creation of Human Insecurity: Information on the Libyan War 2011
        • 13.6 Conclusion
        • References
      • 14 Complexity of Gender and Age in Precarious Lives: Malian Men, Women, and Girls in Communities of Blind Beggars in Senegal
        • Abstract³
        • 14.1 Introduction
        • 14.2 Contextualizing the Migration of Men, Women, and Children in Senegal and Mali
        • 14.3 Circular Migrations for Begging
          • 14.3.1 Research Methodology
          • 14.3.2 Multiple Conditions of Disability and Migration for Begging as a Livelihood
          • 14.3.3 Gender and Age in Guiding and Living Conditions
        • 14.4 Legal and Policy Responses: The Exclusion of Young Migrant Malian Guides of Beggars
        • 14.5 Conclusion
          • Appendix: Legal and Institutional Frameworks to Combat Child Trafficking relevant to Mali and Senegal
        • References
    • Part V Liminal Legality, Citizenship and Migrant Rights Mobilization
      • 15 Migrants’ Citizenship and Rights: Limits and Potential for NGOs’ Advocacy in Chile
        • Abstract
        • 15.1 Introduction
        • 15.2 Citizenship in a Globalized World
          • 15.2.1 The Restrictiveness of Citizens’ Inclusion
          • 15.2.2 Rights and Social Justice Beyond Formal Citizenship
          • 15.2.3 Clashes between Different Regulatory Regimes
          • 15.2.4 Civic capacity to hold states accountable
          • Civic Actors as Translators
        • 15.3 Migrant NGOs in Chile: From Service Providers to Potential Advocates
        • 15.4 Chilean NGOs’ Possibilities for Agency
        • 15.5 Conclusions
        • References
      • 16 Diminished Civil Citizenship of Female Migrant Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
        • Abstract
        • 16.1 Introduction
        • 16.2 The Conflicts That Domestic Workers Face
        • 16.3 Data and Research Methods
        • 16.4 Literature on Migrant Domestic Work
        • 16.5 The Two Legal Systems
          • 16.5.1 The Emirates
          • 16.5.2 Saudi Arabia
        • 16.6 Access to Justice by Domestic Workers
          • 16.6.1 Khulwa
          • 16.6.2 Women and their Mahram
          • 16.6.2 Sponsorship System
        • 16.7 Civil Citizenship of Domestic Workers
        • 16.8 Citizenship and Saudi and Emirati Employers
        • 16.9 Connections Between Social and Civil Citizenship
        • 16.10 Conclusions
        • References
      • 17 The Right to Education for Migrant Children in Thailand: Liminal Legality and the Educational Experience of Migrant Children in
        • Abstract
        • 17.1 Introduction
        • 17.2 Methods and Scope of Study
        • 17.3 Thai Policy on Labour Migration
          • 17.3.1 Administration of Thai Labour Migration Policy
          • 17.3.2 Thai Policy on Migrant Children
          • 17.3.3 Migrant Labour in Samut Sakhon Province
        • 17.4 Liminal Legal Status
          • 17.4.1 Liminal Legality and Migrant Children’s Access to Education
          • 17.4.2 Migrant Children’s Education in Samut Sakhon
          • 17.4.3 Tracking Differences and Commonality
          • 17.4.4 Impact of ‘Liminal Legality’ on the Experience of Migrant Children in the Thai Education System
        • 17.5 Conclusion
        • References
      • 18 Challenges of Recognition, Participation, and Representation for the Legally Liminal: A Comment
        • Abstract
        • 18.1 Comment on Chapter 17 by Petchot 1
        • 18.2 Comment on Chapter 16 by De Vlieger
        • 18.3 Comment on Chapter 15 by Mora and Handmaker
        • 18.4 Factors facilitating or precluding migrants’ mobilization
        • 18.5 Racialization and Stigmatization of Migrants in Popular Imaginations
        • 18.6 Concerns about Migrant Children's Education and Migrants' Liminal Legality
        • 18.7 Migrants’ de Facto and Formal Statelessness
        • 18.8 The Case of Refugees from El Salvador and the US ‘Deferred Action’ Programme
        • 18.9 Concluding Remark
        • References
    • Part VI Migration Regimes, Gender Norms, and Public Action
      • 19 Gender, Masculinity, and Safety in the Changing Lao-Thai Migration Landscape
        • Abstract
        • 19.1 Introduction
        • 19.2 Methodology and Data
        • 19.3 Masculinities and Migration
        • 19.4 Gendered Continuity and Change in the Migration Landscape
        • 19.5 The Emergence of a Lao Migration Regime
        • 19.6 Employment Agencies and the Changing Political Economy of Migration
        • 19.7 Uncovering Gender in Migration through Lao Employment Agencies
          • 19.7.1 Gender and the Construction of Legitimate Migrant Labour
          • 19.7.2 Gender and Generation in Entering Migration through Employment Agencies
        • 19.8 Masculinity and the Limitations of Male Privilege
        • 19.9 Conclusion
        • References
      • 20 Public Social Science at Work: Contesting Hostility Towards Nicaraguan Migrants in Costa Rica
        • Abstract²
        • 20.1 Introduction
        • 20.2 Nicaraguan Migrants as ‘Threatening Others’ in the Costa Rican Social Imaginary
        • 20.3 Understanding and Countering the Legality that Produces Irregularity – Analytical, Normative, and ‘Translation’ Research
        • 20.4 Social Imaginaries around Immigration –The Absence of Recognition of Interdependence
        • 20.5 Seeking Cosmopolitanism-frombelow
        • 20.6 Conclusions
        • References
    • Part VII Conclusion
      • 21 ‘Women in Motion’ in a World of Nation-States, Market Forces, and Gender Power Relations
        • Abstract
        • 21.1 Themes
        • 21.2 Migration is Major and Normal but is Treated as Exceptional and Ethically Aberrant
        • 21.3 Global Interconnectedness and Global Economic Forces
        • 21.4 The Attempted Maintenance of Nation-State Projects Through Migration Regimes of ‘Temporary’ and ‘Irregular’ Workers
        • 21.5 Who Counts? National Versus Market Versus Humanist Frames
        • 21.6 A Human Development and Human Security Perspective
        • 21.7 A Gender-enriched Human Security Perspective
        • 21.8 Invisibility and Re-Cognition of Women’s Migration: Promoting Human Rights and Security
        • 21.9 Next Steps
        • References
    • Abbreviations
    • Biographies of Contributors
    • Index
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