Women in the Cities

Womenin the Cities

Today,many women are migrating from the rural areas to urban areas. Mostmove to search for employment where they work as nannies, domesticworkers, sex workers, businesswomen, whereas others join theirprofessional career. Other women move to the cities to live withtheir husbands who work in the city. In addition, many governmentsincorporate women in the strategic economic sectors whereby theyallow them to conduct businesses or work in offices. Sadly, most ofthem are lowly paid and discriminated due to their gender. Otherreason that has led to increase of women in the cities isglobalisation. Due to globalization, there is high demand of globallow wageworkers to occupy the few advancement possibilities. Citywomen are very different and more advanced compared to rural women.Nevertheless, city women face various challenges such as slavery,human trafficking, illegal manipulation, and sex abuse (Ehrenreich,Barbara and Arlie, 106).

Womenfrom poor and third world countries are moving to developed countriesto search for employment as nannies and maids in order to give theirchildren back at home better lives. The main reason that pushes themto these developed countries and cities is poverty (Ross,Robert, and Kent Trachte, 402).They think that they will find better life in other cities hence,they escape from their countries leading to increase in the number ofmigrant workers. Sadly, most of them end up living miserable lives,and do not enjoy human rights, as they would do in their homecountries. For instance, they are exposed to hardship whereby theywake up very early and sleep very late in the evening. Some of themnever enjoy freedom of worship nor are they give day offs and sickoff. For the cruel employers, they do not allow them to communicateto their families back at home.

Currently,there is high demand of domestic jobs in the west whereby bothparents in families work for economical survival. A family cannotdepend on the man only as the bed winner hence, women must alsowork. For this reason, they have to get a nanny to take care of theirchildren. Corresponding, women in the third world countries aretaking this advantage to earn money. Since 1970, most women havemoved out to make “a difference.” United States and Europe employPhilippines women whom they regard as caring, intelligent, andobedient (Rosset al. 395).They also speak English and are Christians. According to Rhacel, aPhilippine nanny is like a Mercedes Benz among international nannies.The film “Chain of Love” is about Filipina domestic workers thatdiscuss the case of Belen (Meerman,n.p).Belen left her son, six-month son and home country to work in Europe.Later, she regrets and misses her son and at all the time, sheportrays a wry expression. The film portrays the experiences ofdomestic workers and their legal vulnerabilities.

Citywomen are prone to such to problems such as slavery, humantrafficking, among others. Ehrenreichet al.(254), gives an examples of Noreena, Jose, Marie, and Ruth who sufferas slavery in United States in his article, “America’s DirtyWork: Migrant Maids and Modern-Day Slavery.” The three women movedto United States to work as domestic workers. However, they weresubjected to slavery. Due to global economic changes, women areforced to move to cities in search for domestic jobs. This has leadto high rate of domestic worker abuse. Correspondingly, there isincrease in modern day slavery, migrant domestic abuse, and humantrafficking. Women suffer from illegal manipulation and deception inthe city thinking that they will better their living standard in thecity. Unluckily, women are either unpaid or poorly paid, and are usedas a commodity to accumulate profit for their bosses. Traffickers lieto them that they will earn more money as domestic workers in thecity. Unfortunately, the traffickers sell them as slaves. Ehrenreichet al.(255), gives example of Dora Mortey who was formally a Ghanaianschoolteacher who left her job only to be sold as a slave. She workedas a housekeeper and nanny with a salary of forty cents per hour.

Dueto economic problems in the city, women strive to survive. There ishigh increase of migrant labour and prostitution among women. Due topoverty, women and girls are forced to prostitution, either knowinglyor unknowingly. There is also illegal trafficking in women in the sexindustries with the aim to make high profits (Rosset al. 423).Further, they are organised exports and by the government to collectmore revenue. As a result, women are the majority in trafficking andprostitution in the sex industry, and are the majority in the labourmigration. In most families, women are feminization for survival.They not only are they important in households, but whole communitiesdepend on them for survival. Women traffickers in the sex industrymake many profits. According to United Nation, more than two billionswomen were trafficked making a profit of above five billion dollarsin 1998. For example, each woman trafficked the trafficker wouldearn seven hundred dollars. According to recent research, millions ofwomen and girls are trafficked annually.

Nevertheless,women in the cities are more informed and educated compared to womenin the rural areas. In addition, these women are more empowered andare aware of their rights and freedom. Due to globalisation, thereare changes in social structure, as well as traditional women genderroles. New opportunities offer women with empowerment, and doublebind according to Sassen (264). In addition, city women are active inboth public and private institutions, as well as in the ethniccommunity. During migration process, these women settle in other newresidences thereby they participate in the community activities. Someof them take up public and social roles reinforce their socialstatus, and settlement processes. Unlike men, women are involvingthemselves with community activism and community building. Theyhandle family legal vulnerabilities since they commonly seek socialand public services. For this reason, women are more forceful andvisible characters in the labour market. According to Sassen (265),despite low wages and salaries, labour migration among women hasincreased economic freedom.

Asdiscussed above, women who move to cities faces more problem than thesuccesses. Therefore, people should organise campaigns and groups todiscuss about the issues facing women. According to Ross(410),domestic workers opt to be treated just like any other employee.There should be a well-defined contract between employee and employerin the domestic jobs. Most of these issues arise during negotiationwhile signing the contracts for domestic jobs. In addition, thegovernment should intervene in this economic sector, and especiallyin case of a domestic violence situation. Women should also be awareof the place they are moving and the risk they are undertaking. Theyshould conduct a research to ensure they have not been sold as slavesbefore they live their countries.


Ehrenreich,Barbara, and Arlie Russell Hochschild, eds.&nbspGlobalwoman: Nannies, maids, and sex workers in the new economy.Macmillan, 2003.

Meerman,Marije. &quotChain of Love.&quot&nbspChainof Love.Web. 3 Nov. 2014.

Ross,Robert, and Kent Trachte. &quotGlobal cities and global classes: Theperipheralization of labour in New York City.&quot&nbspReview(Fernand Braudel Center)(1983): 393-431.

Sassen,Saskia. &quot„Global Cities and Survival Circuits.&quot (2002):254-274.