Forcenturies, man has seen woman as a helping agent, domesticated and fragile. Inthe early times, a woman is tasked to do the household chores; baking bread,sweeping the floors, and taking care of the babies and little children. Thewoman’s only place of expertise is the house, as Filipino traits of Machismodeprives the Filipino women as early tradition prohibited her to have a formaleducation while men are obliged to go to school to build their skills tosupport their family in the future. A woman’s goal is to be able to give birthto children, to be a faithful wife to her husband, and to raise her children inan environment in which they complement with the lifestyle that they have duringtheir time. If the child is a boy, he will be sent off to school, but if shehad a daughter, the mother will raise her like how she was during her time:dusting the furniture, making beds, and cooking dad’s favourite meal.
The malesdominated the household, and this has been the case in many countries,including the Philippines.Backin the 1970’s, Filipino women are treated differently from how they are treatednow. Filipino men are privileged to go out and do what they want: study, work,among other things. Women are only to be found in their respective homes, witha broom on one hand and a crying baby on the other. Comparing their freedoms,man has indeed more than the woman. Man earns the money, woman spends it for thefood; man eats the meals, woman cleans up.
Man gives shelter, woman maintainsit; man rests, woman does the laundry. Mangives sperm, woman gives birth; child takes man’s name, but a woman will raisehim to be an effective citizen of the world.Thewomen, although domesticated, are not weak and fragile it is just society donot give them a chance to shine on their own. Years after, women are taught toin schools, learning more than just how to properly sweep into the dust pan orlearning how to cook the best kare-kare in the barangay. Mothersare now also working alongside, if not alone, with their husbands. Some becomelawyers, doctors, teachers, office staff, and surprisingly not surprising,overseas domestic workers. We have reached an age where woman is beingempowered, but there are still many cases wherein poverty overpowers the will,and forces the soft at heart to make hard sacrifices for the family’swell-being.
TheFilipinos, being colonized by the Spaniards for three hundred and thirty-three(333) years, the Americans formally for forty-seven (47) years, and theJapanese for three (3) years, a sense of post-colonialism instills in the mindsof the people. For a fair number of them, life outside the Philippines is muchbetter than their own country. Driven by this and the lack of resourcesavailable in their families, one or both parents are forced to go outside thenation’s borders for their families to have something to eat for dinner.
Butcases like these are not always fun and games. Alot of parents work abroad because they are not able to make a living insidetheir own country, hence the lack of resources. It may be that one or bothparents are not educationally-prepared, with many contributing factors, a bigpercentage of it being poverty. On 2015 alone, it was recorded that 21.
6% ofthe county’s population are stated as “poor” (Philippine Statistics Authority).This has led them to only a limited number of jobs, with low-paying salariesand a back-breaking job description. Povertyplus the colonial mentality equals Filipinos leaving the country in hopes fortheir families to have a better future, even if the job requires their fullphysical force. And what better way to earn money than send in the mostdiligent and hardworking member of the family to serve in another, wealthierand busy family? This is where the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW),specifically the domestic workers, comes in. Accordingto the Philippine labour statistics, the trend of Filipinos who work asdomestic helpers became a more female-dominated one (Rosales, 1999).Thenumber of OverseasFilipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at period of 2015 was estimated at 2.4 million.
The proportion of female OFWs(51.1%) was higher than male OFWs (48.9%). Among occupation groups, laborersand unskilled workers (33.2%) was the biggest group of OFWs. One in everythree OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker. About 17.6 percent worked asservice workers and shop and market sales workers.
OFWs who worked as plant andmachine operators and assemblers comprised 12.8 percent, and trades and relatedworkers, 11.8 percent. More than half of the female OFWs were laborers andunskilled workers (54.
5%). Among male OFWs, the largest group were plant andmachine operators and assemblers (23.2%) and trades and related workers(23.0%).The number ofOverseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at period of 2016 was estimated at 2.2 million. Theproportion of female OFWs (54%) was higher than male OFWs (46%).
Amongthe OFWs, those working in Elementary Occupations; consist of simple and routine tasks which mainly require the use ofhand-held tools and often some physical effort. (34.5%) comprised thelargest group followed by those who worked as service and sales workers(19.0%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.8%), and craft andrelated trades workers (11.6%).Morethan half of the female OFWs were in elementary occupations (56.2%).
Thelargest group of the male OFWs worked as plant and machine operators andassemblers (24.7%).In the country like the Philippines, it is new for the Filipino people, especially for theFilipino women to work for their family and to provide their needs.
UsuallyFilipino men are the providers and women are in charge on their houses to dothe household chores and to take care of their children. However, when theopportunity opens to the Filipino women to work inside and outside the countrythey grab the opportunity on the demand for women workers.According to Guerrero, et al.
(2000), women domestic workers come from developing countries. Mostof them are unmarried and young while only few are married who took risk towork abroad and leave their families in the country. Aside from theavailability for female jobs worldwide one of the contributing factors on whywomen workers rate increases is poverty. Sayres (2007) asserts that women aremore reliable in sending remittances to the families left behind than men basedon the conducted studies. Based onthe article by Maymon(2017) women usually work as nannies, nurses, maids and even sex workers abroadnot because they want to but their life situation pressures them to dosomething for their family when men members are in trouble in looking for jobsto support their needs.
Another reason for hiring women over men on jobsespecially in manufacturing industries is the belief of women are obedient,industrious and submissive in nature especially Filipino women considering the history ofFilipino culture whereas women only stayed at home and cannot decide forimportant family matters for Filipino families are commonly patriarchal.According to the “un” sex disaggregated statistics from the Commissionon Filipinos Overseas indicates that from the year 1989-2009, there were around 372,718 Filipinospouses and partners of foreign nationals. Mostly, of them were FemaleFilipinos that migrated to the other countries. It is very rare for Filipinomen to marry a foreigner because many of women were open to learn a new language,in different places, and accepting to an unfamiliar culture and tradition.
Filipinas are more willing to work abroad and earn a lot, so that, they havemoney to send for their family in the Philippines. There at times they fall inlove and get married to their employers, or to other nationality and ended upstaying there. The majority has settled in the USA (41.55%), Japan (29.04%),Australia, Canada, Germany, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, So, Korea, Norway,Sweden and others.
Theworld drifts its favor from men to women. Today, female domestication becamemore prevalent worldwide. When the opportunity opens for the feminization ofdomestic workers Filipino women respond to its demand due to the unending poverty and contractualization cases in the Philippines.Even though it is hard for them to leave their own family to work for anotherfamilies Filipino women endure their homesickness for the sake of theirfamily’s future.