The Asian financial crisis, women's work and forced migration

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Abstract:

The effects of the deepening financial crisis in Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea, led by the collapse of financial and currency markets, have spread beyond domestic boundaries to other Asian economies. Financial instability, devaluation and inflation are warning signals for other Asian countries in the process of repairing damage to their economies. The mobility of female labour, due to eviction and expulsion (forced migration), is related to forces of the new market mechanism in the era of the globalizing world. Two processes of forced migration are highlighted: between countries; and between urban and rural areas. Such processes have led to increasing mobility and to the eviction of immigrant labour and the female labour force, which has affected the local economy, type of work and gender relations. Thailand is examined as a case study, with supplementary data from other affected countries. There is a strong tendency for women especially to be priced out of the economy and forced to return either to their native villages within the host country or to their home countries. The type and pattern of migration and change of occupation helps in the understanding of the power of globalization, the dynamics of the crisis and its impact on women workers.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/002919500423744

Publication date: September 6, 2000

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