Representation of women migrant workers are often subject to prevailing systems of knowledge production, which are tied to gender norms (Mohanty, 2008). Many times, women migrant workers are depicted by an array of terms and categorizations such as care worker, helper, illegal, criminal, victim, hero, etc., which pertain to their gender, race, nationality and immigration status.
Often, the languages and words we use reflect the social norms and gendered norms reinforcing the stereotypes associated with such women. The representation of women migrant workers can contribute to understanding and perceptions surrounding women migrant workers within societies, which not only inform public opinion but also shape knowledge and attitudes. These perceptions might also influence countries policies and the provision of rights, protections and services to these largely stereotyped groups. For example, words such as “maid” or “servant” are often used to describe “domestic workers” which provides a false sense of the domestic worker to be subordinate and does not recognize that domestic work is a type of employment with corresponding labour rights. Despite the ongoing use of negatively connoted languages, such subtleness is often overlooked and easily neglected as a topic to be discussed.
If these ongoing harmful practices are not addressed, dehumanizing words like “criminal” and “illegal migrant” can condone negative attitudes, discrimination and even violence against migrant workers, especially women. It can also detrimentally affect policies on labour migration, including those affecting women migrant workers the most, such as policies on domestic work (ILO and UN Women, 2019). Therefore, word choices can actively contribute to shaping positive perceptions and better understanding of women migrant workers.
Topics of discussion
|14.30||Welcome participants and introduction to the webinar|
|14.50||Session 1: Situation of women migrant workers with specific focus on the ASEAN region|
|15.10||Session 2: Role of Journalists in portrayal of women and women migrant workers |
|16.05||Session 3: Launch of Safe and Fair Media-friendly Glossary on migration|
The webinar will be conducted in English.
Participants who complete the webinar will receive a certificate of attendance.
RegisterJournalists, researchers, trainers and other stakeholders who conduct trainings or write about women’s labour migration, and who write about violence against women in the context of migration are invited.
Click here to register
For more information, please contact:Mr Pichit Phromkade
Communications Officer for Safe and Fair Programme