Labour Migration Seminar at NUI Galway

Monday, 16 February 2009

Feminist economist Dr Simel Esim will be in NUI Galway on Wednesday, 18 February, to present a lecture and film entitled Social Care on the Move: Women's Employment and Labour Migration in Arab States. Dr Esim works in Beirut, where she is a Gender Equality and Women Workers' Issues specialist with the International Labour Organisation's regional office for Arab States. An agency of the UN, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the global body responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. The ILO promotes the 'Decent Work Campaign' to protect the rights of domestic workers in a changing economic climate. Dr Esim has worked extensively on migrant workers rights and issues relating to informal labour. Her visit to NUI Galway is being hosted by the University's Global Women's Studies Programme. According to Dr Esim: "Meeting the needs of social care is generally perceived as an issue of individual households with the burden falling primarily on women to resolve the gap through a 'double shift' or hiring domestic help". Dr Nata Duvvury, a Lecturer with NUI Galway's Global Women's Studies Programme, says: "A critical emerging global issue is the crisis in the care economy, in both developed and developing countries. Women have moved into the labour market, often relying on migrant workers to carry out domestic duties known as the 'care economy'. With the economic meltdown, we can expect women to go back into the home, dislodging migrant workers. At the same time, we envisage an increase in migration, as women emigrate in search of work in a domestic setting". Driven by extreme poverty, several million female migrant workers from countries such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines and areas of sub-Saharan Africa, work in domestic service in Arab States. In the lecture at NUI Galway Dr Esim will discuss the implications of relying on migration to resolve the crisis in the care economy in Lebanon in particular. The film Social Care on the Move: Women's Employment and Labour Migration in Arab States highlights both the tensions and bonds which form between the women who hire domestic workers and the domestic workers themselves. The event will take place at 4pm at NUI Galway's Huston School of Film and Digital Media which is based in Earl's Island. For further information or to RSVP please contact Gillian Browne, Gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie or 091 493450.
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