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The Chinese/Vietnamese Diaspora: Revisiting the boat people

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Women, Migration and Domestic Work. Asian Women and Migration, edited by N. New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihood, Rights and Entitlements. Asian Women and Migration. Return Migration and Identity: Hong Kong University Press. For Better or for Worse: Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland: Cross-border Marriages with Asian Characteristics. Asian Cross-border Marriage Migration: Demographic Patterns and Social Issues. As Zlotnik has pointed out, compared to migration prior to , a major development of international migration since then has been the increasing visibility of women migrating as international workers.

Before answering the above, there are many more questions to be asked. What has made women in the region move so rigorously in recent decades? Are the reasons that make them move today the same as those of 30 years ago? What sustains the push factors? Asian Women and Asian Migration 21 Women migrants often land in an alien territory to become hard- working workers or wives, with little support. While fulfilling their new roles and duties in an estranged geographical and cultural landscape, they also have to shoulder many obligations from home.

Transnational connections between home of origin and the new home are often said to provide emotional support for homesick migrants and help compensate for their absentee roles as wife, daughter, and mother. Yet, few have discussed how such increasingly easy communication has also made it increasingly difficult for migrant women. High demands for money and material items from home have become sources of stress on female migrants, whether such demands are made by parents, siblings, children, relatives, or neighbours.

What does migration mean to Asian women as individuals and as a social category? Secondly, it will suggest several important aspects that together will constitute a nuanced research agenda for investigating the phenomenon of the feminisation of migration. We believe further research is necessary to elicit a deeper understanding of the whole issue of female migration and the political economy of such migration that has crosscut important gender, social, economic, and cultural issues.

There has been much discussion surrounding the general trend of the feminisation of migration. Around 49 percent of all international migrants million in are women. However, the situation varies across different regions. The highest proportion of female migrant stock is in Europe Considering Asia as a region producing the second most international migrants, Asian women as a whole are actively on the move.

As stressed by Hania Zlotnik , the last two decades before the turn of the millennium witnessed the most dynamic movements of women across borders. The growth of female migration has to do with the increasing availability of low-skilled jobs for women, especially in the field of domestic work. Many of these domestic workers find their jobs across national borders, within as well as beyond home regions ILO , Female migration is particularly prominent in a number of Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

There are also large numbers of irregular women migrants from Myanmar to Thailand and from Indonesia to Malaysia. Without regular status, it is difficult to estimate the actual number of women migrants in these sub-regions. Let us also take a look at the different situations of individual countries and places where large numbers of female migrants reside.

Japan and South Korea had the same proportion of female migrants at 55 percent, while Macau, a small place but actively drawing migrant workers, had more than These female migration trends are connected with the two predominant modes of migration in Asia. As mentioned above, low-skilled labour migration has been one major mode of female migration. Another popular female migration pattern is marriage migration. Among the marriage migrants in Hong Kong, the predominant group is that of cross-border brides from mainland China. In , 45 percent of all marriages in Hong Kong were Hong Kong-China marriages, 78 percent of which were with a bride from mainland China see Table A comparable situation can be found in Taiwan.

Among all foreign spouses in Taiwan, 65 percent are from mainland China, the majority being Chinese women who have married Taiwanese men Table The following sections will review different analytical discourses on the phenomenon of female labour and marriage migration that have been provided by previous scholarly studies. Hong Kong-China cross-border marriages Year HK-China HK-China Total Total marriages marriages cross-border marriage with mainland with mainland marriages between registrations brides bridegrooms China and HK 19, 7, 26, 55, 20, 6, 27, 60, 20, 5, 26, 58, 19, 4, 24, 52, 18, 4, 22, 51, 28, 6, 34, 50, 18, 2, 20, 32, 24, 1, 26, 37, 21, 1, 22, 42, 15, 16, 43, Source: Department of Census and Statistics, Hong Kong.

Number of foreign spouses in Taiwan Country of origin Number of spouses Percentages of all foreign spouses China , National Immigration Agency of Taiwan. Analytical discourses of feminised migration Although it is not only females from poor countries who migrate, a major focus in academic discussions of the phenomenon of the feminisation of migration has been on women migrants from the developing world. Much interest has been concentrated on those who migrate to find low-skilled jobs or who aspire to marry up and thus achieve a better life.

Female migrants from developing countries have therefore become a particular transnational social group under the research spotlights. These two categories of Asian female migrants low-skilled labour migrants and marriage migrants have, since the s, drawn immense scholarly attention.

Many who examine gender issues in relation to migration have been concerned about the relationship between migration and the enhancement of female power and status. Are women empowered or disempowered in the process of migration and settlement? In what ways are they constructing a new self and new subjectivity? Popular understanding tends to believe that, with the betterment of their economic status, migrant women tend to enjoy greater say and power back in their homeland.

However, many have also found that female migration has perpetuated the reproduction of exploited female bodies.


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Thus, while some may argue that migration can be a form of empowerment and liberation through which women can untie traditional patriarchal bondage, others stress that women are still subjected to subordinating roles and to new forms of exploitation and discrimination in host societies after their migration Jongwilaiwan and Thompson ; Wang and Tien ;. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Click here to sign up.