Female Labour Migration for a Better Life? The 'Never Ending Journey and the Meaning of Migration for Filipino Domestic Workers in Hong Kong
Santvoort, R.M.A. van
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Thousands of women migrate from the Philippines to Hong Kong for a better life . Through ethnographic exploration and three months of field research amongst Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, this thesis explores how the meaning of female labour migration for Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong is constructed. The aim is to demonstrate how diverse ideas, expectations and experiences in the diverse stages of migration construct the meaning of female labour migration for Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. It covers four dynamics of the so called migration journey that show the development of an understanding of female labour migration for Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. It covers the historical developments, and the three stages of migration: pre migration, migration and post migration. It first shows two narratives on female labour migration: migration as an opportunity for a better life and migration as an escape for a better life. Second, it questions the idea of migration for a better life by discussing the living and working experiences of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong. It shows how female labour migration is seen as an act of sacrifice from an emic perspective. This thesis concludes that the meaning of female labour migration changes over time and place: it is not static. The migration journey for Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong is a vicious circle and thus a never ending journey.