To begin with, it important to get familiarize with the characteristics of a typical ‘consumer husband’ versus the typical mail-order bride. Statistically, 94 percent of consumer husbands of the MOB industry are white, of average age of 37 and living in the United States, with Australia, and Canada to follow (Langivan, 85). Other features to include here are that most are well-educated , middle-class , conservative, divorced, and interested in having children (Lindee). As for mail order brides, on the other hand, since 1998, the Philippines while supplying up to 20,000 women each year to male foreigners, has been the leading exporter of mail order brides (70%) with Russia and Ukraine to follow (D’Aoust, 7-8). The circumstances pushing women to become mail-order brides vary and will be further elaborated in the next section, but what is common among these women is that they want to escape their current living deprivations – monetary and/or otherwise. Therefore the idea of living in First World Countries appeals to these women in that they are lands of opportunity that can provide the prospect of improving their lot and that of their families (Langevin, 104). The MOB industry provides an express route for women who otherwise would not meet the educational and financial requirements to officially immigrate (Langevin, 104).
There are various push and pull factors that create the supply and demand of mail-order brides (Nikolic-Ristanovic, 128). Supply and demand are often motivated by current structural factors present in the countries supplying MOBs (Nikolic-Ristanovic, 128). Poverty is fundamental structural factor common among these countries and is usually linked to other causes for low quality of life. In Philippines case for example, poverty is stemmed from high foreign debt leading to high levels of unemployment as well as malnutrition which are primary driving forces of emigration (Langevin, 90). Statistics show that over 70% of Pilipino women live in poverty-like conditions (at or under $2 a day) (Langevin, 90).
Poverty and chaos that struck the relatively affluent supply countries of Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union following the fall of Communism, has lead to deteriorating living conditions and much uncertainty about the future (Langevin, 90). Since economic inequality is gendered, women can...