In many countries it is the responsibility of a woman to carry out most tasks related to the care and nurturing of the family including cleaning, laundry, food preparation and care of the sick. In more southern countries, it is also the role of women to make an important contribution to their family's food supply, shelter and personal needs. Single women with children do not have many options of producing a significant amount of income to help provide for their families. In this case, many women travel abroad to provide paid service work for other families. Migrants or domestic laborers tend to find this advantageous because accommodation and employment are solved in one; "the worker can both minimize expenses and acclimatize herself to a new language and culture
Moreover, housing is more than a place to live, it is shelter from the police, and many new arrivals are undocumented and terrified of deportation (p.107). Although this can appear to be beneficial for these women, it has several horrifying results. Without legal protection, these women are vulnerable to abuse. "Their work can be singularly degrading: cleaning cats' anuses, flushing employers' toilets, scrubbing the floor with toothbrushes three times a day, or standing by the door in the same position for hours at a time" (p109). Not only are these women experiencing physical abuse, but they encounter the hardships of psychological abuse; pain on a deeper level that extends to the worker's "body, personality, voice-even her emotions" (p 141).
Unfortunately, the increase in the demand for domestic service workers can almost directly be blamed towards the patriarchal relationship between first world countries and third world countries as well as the "doing it all" woman. The traditional housewife now employs women from third world countries to replace their roles so they can maintain their full time careers. This transfer of labor results in an odd displacement, in which the...
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