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Strategies of Resistance among Filipina and Indonesian Domestic Workers in Singapore

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Chapter Summary

Studies reveal a disparity between the experiences of female migrant domestic workers and "unskilled" or "low skilled" male migrant workers. Chin (1998), in her intriguing study of Filipina and Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, delineates how the women cope with and/or fight against female employers who spy on them. Stimulated by these studies, this chapter explores some of the typical difficulties domestic workers encounter, together with aspects of the day-to-day strategies they employ for their survival, using research on Indonesian and Filipina domestic workers in Singapore. Specifically, this research covers several domains of domestic workers' daily negotiation and resistance, mostly with employers but also with training centers and employment agencies, the local society and with kin members in the home countries. The strategies of resistance described in the chapter do not depend on any organizations and can be carried out by individuals.

Keywords: Filipina domestic workers; Indonesian domestic workers; Singapore



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