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Care worker migration, global health equity, and ethical place-making

Women s Studies International Forum
DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2014.04.003
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences


Synopsis The division of care labor has long been gendered; it is increasingly transnational. Part of the feminization of international migration, many women seek employment abroad as nurses, nurses' aides, and home care workers. This gendered migration generates serious concerns of injustice, chief among them the deepening of global health inequities in “source countries” and injustices against migrant care workers. Here, I assume that governments and other agents whose policies and practices cross borders share responsibilities for addressing injustices, grounding these responsibilities in our nature as “ecological subjects”. This conception of persons directs attention to our embeddedness socially and also spatially, in geographically identifiable locations which are also constituted relationally. Responsibility for addressing injustices, in turn, might fruitfully be conceived as ethical place-making. Here I define the notion of ethical place-making and examine its potential to generate ethically urgent social change in both source and destination countries and their care settings.

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