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International Migration and the Restructuring of Gender Asymmetries: Continuity and Change among Filipino Labor Migrants in Rome

Cecilia Tacoli
The International Migration Review
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 658-682
DOI: 10.2307/2547530
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2547530
Page Count: 25
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International Migration and the Restructuring of Gender Asymmetries: Continuity and Change among Filipino Labor Migrants in Rome
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Abstract

This article examines the different factors which may explain genderselectivity among Filipino labor migrants in Rome, where women are around 70 percent of this nationality group. Following the analysis of labor demand in the domestic service sector, it explores `supply' aspects, ranging from economic conditions within the Philippine labor market to noneconomic constraints, such as ideologies and expectations of gender. The research findings show that migrant women's commitments and obligations toward their households in home areas are generally stronger than those of their male counterparts. However, spatial distance and increased financial independence may provide some women with the opportunity to pursue `self-interested' goals while at the same time keeping within the `altruistic' role dictated by normative gender roles. Important elements affecting women's increased autonomy are life course paths, households' developmental cycle, class and migration form.

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