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Title: Paid domestic work, gender and socioeconomic inequalities in developing countries : cases from Mexico-City and Rabat
Author: Moreno Ruiz, María José
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 6452
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines paid domestic work by adult national women in Mexico City and Rabat. I have used secondary data and new fieldwork to look Into the context and implications of the social organization of this occupation from a gender and class perspective. The fieldwork includes 36 interviews in each city; I interviewed only women as they still are primarily responsible for domestic/care work. In each city 12 women paid domestic workers, 12 women employers, and 12 women employed who do not hire domestic workers were interviewed. The research was operationalized around seven main questions which looked into the legal status of paid domestic work and its weight in the active population; at why women employ or become household workers and how all groups perceive the occupation and the relationships in place. Finally I have looked into the challenges in securing 'decent work' for paid domestic workers. The interviews reveal recurrent patterns in the social relations of paid domestic work in the two cities. According to the fieldwork domestic employees were unable to exercise choice and took this occupation as a last resort due mainly to pressures of poverty. Their conditions of employment fall in general far from 'decent work' standards and upward mobility is possible very rarely. Household work is generally perceived as a lesser occupation for which no skills are needed. Among the employers interviewees, the decision to employ a paid domestic worker was influenced more by their ability to pay their wages and by their personal histories than by pressures of trying to combine employment and care. In both Mexico and Morocco this occupation is historically linked both to servitude and to the unpaid work of women belonging to subordinate classes. This background has hindered the elimination of a fracture regarding rights and social protection between household workers and other workers. The attitudes of employers appear likely to be a major barrier to on-going, although fragmented, attempts to introduce and implement legislation that would eliminate these gaps. Although there are differences in the practice of domestic work in Mexico-City and Rabat, the occupation is in both a belittled occupation. From a women, workers and human rights perspective the advancement of rights for this category of workers as well as the elimination of gaps between them and other workers are issues of major relevance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available