Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Global: The Feminization of Migration

UNI GLOBAL UNION - As the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Manila comes closer, women’s groups such as The World March of Women Pilipinas (WMW) and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) held a forum on 24th October,2008 near the PICC, Manila, site of GFMD, to bring to light the exploitation suffered by women looking for work. The Women’s groups were joined by victims-survivors of sex trafficking to condemn the Philippine government's labor export policy and the lack of local full employment program.

WMW-Pilipinas is part of an international feminist action movement connecting grassroots groups and organizations working to eliminate the causes at the root of poverty and violence against women."We struggle against all forms of inequality and discrimination directed at women. Our values and actions are directed at making political, economic and social change," said Jing Geaga,of WMW-Pilipinas.

Andrea Luisa Anolin, Executive Director of Batis Center described the continuing increase of Filipino women overseas, despite government data to the contrary. "More and more of them are leaving as undocumented migrants," says Anolin. She elaborated that marriage channels have been exploited more by traffickers both in Korea and Japan. According to Anolin, in 2007, deployed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are 1,077,623 and 811,070 are land based and 266,553 are sea based.

Female OFWs out number male OFWs in Middle East and Asia. In the Middle East,118,393 are female OFWs and 89,217 are male OFWs. As for Asia, 52,336 are female OFWs and 22,297 are male OFWs.

Deployed female domestic workers (2007) are:

Hong Kong -22,127

Italy---------- 4,951

Kuwait------- 4,806

UAE --------- 3,149

Saudi Arabia - 2,581

Qatar ---------- 1,912

Cyprus -------- 1,763

Singapore ----- 1,568

Deployed Overseas Female performing artists in 2007 are: Japan -4,592, Korea -1,350, Hong Kong-113, UAE -100 and Saipan-45.

The exploited migrants who testified came from the urban poor, labor and peasant sectors, illustrating that the poorest of women are pushed to the edge, leave their families, given the lack of local job opportunities. Ms. Marites Bagasala, an overseas worker who sought the help of Kaisa-Ka,aWMW member testified that she is one of eight women who came back from Kuwait. "One of us was sold and sexually exploited and another's spine was broken because of her employers' violence" cried Bagasala...


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