For centuries, man has seen woman as a helping agent, domesticated and fragile. In the early times, a woman is tasked to do the household chores; baking bread, sweeping the floors, and taking care of the babies and little children. The woman’s only place of expertise is the house, as Filipino traits of Machismo deprives the Filipino women as early tradition prohibited her to have a formal education while men are obliged to go to school to build their skills to support their family in the future. A woman’s goal is to be able to give birth to children, to be a faithful wife to her husband, and to raise her children in an environment in which they complement with the lifestyle that they have during their time.
If the child is a boy, he will be sent off to school, but if she had a daughter, the mother will raise her like how she was during her time: dusting the furniture, making beds, and cooking dad’s favourite meal. The males dominated the household, and this has been the case in many countries, including the Philippines.Back in the 1970’s, Filipino women are treated differently from how they are treated now. Filipino men are privileged to go out and do what they want: study, work, among other things. Women are only to be found in their respective homes, with a broom on one hand and a crying baby on the other. Comparing their freedoms, man has indeed more than the woman. Man earns the money, woman spends it for the food; man eats the meals, woman cleans up.
Man gives shelter, woman maintains it; man rests, woman does the laundry. Man gives sperm, woman gives birth; child takes man’s name, but a woman will raise him to be an effective citizen of the world. The women, although domesticated, are not weak and fragile it is just society do not give them a chance to shine on their own. Years after, women are taught to in schools, learning more than just how to properly sweep into the dust pan or learning how to cook the best kare-kare in the barangay.
Mothers are now also working alongside, if not alone, with their husbands. Some become lawyers, doctors, teachers, office staff, and surprisingly not surprising, overseas domestic workers. We have reached an age where woman is being empowered, but there are still many cases wherein poverty overpowers the will, and forces the soft at heart to make hard sacrifices for the family’s well-being. The Filipinos, being colonized by the Spaniards for three hundred and thirty-three (333) years, the Americans formally for forty-seven (47) years, and the Japanese for three (3) years, a sense of post-colonialism instills in the minds of the people. For a fair number of them, life outside the Philippines is much better than their own country. Driven by this and the lack of resources available in their families, one or both parents are forced to go outside the nation’s borders for their families to have something to eat for dinner. But cases like these are not always fun and games. A lot of parents work abroad because they are not able to make a living inside their own country, hence the lack of resources.
It may be that one or both parents are not educationally-prepared, with many contributing factors, a big percentage of it being poverty. On 2015 alone, it was recorded that 21.6% of the county’s population are stated as “poor” (Philippine Statistics Authority). This has led them to only a limited number of jobs, with low-paying salaries and a back-breaking job description. Poverty plus the colonial mentality equals Filipinos leaving the country in hopes for their families to have a better future, even if the job requires their full physical force. And what better way to earn money than send in the most diligent and hardworking member of the family to serve in another, wealthier and busy family? This is where the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), specifically the domestic workers, comes in. According to the Philippine labour statistics, the trend of Filipinos who work as domestic helpers became a more female-dominated one (Rosales, 1999).
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at period of 2015 was estimated at 2.4 million. The proportion of female OFWs (51.1%) was higher than male OFWs (48.9%).
Among occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers (33.2%) was the biggest group of OFWs. One in every three OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker. About 17.6 percent worked as service workers and shop and market sales workers.
OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers comprised 12.8 percent, and trades and related workers, 11.8 percent. More than half of the female OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers (54.5%). Among male OFWs, the largest group were plant and machine operators and assemblers (23.2%) and trades and related workers (23.
0%).The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at period of 2016 was estimated at 2.2 million.
The proportion of female OFWs (54%) was higher than male OFWs (46%). Among the OFWs, those working in Elementary Occupations; consist of simple and routine tasks which mainly require the use of hand-held tools and often some physical effort. (34.5%) comprised the largest group followed by those who worked as service and sales workers (19.0%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.
8%), and craft and related trades workers (11.6%). More than half of the female OFWs were in elementary occupations (56.2%). The largest group of the male OFWs worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers (24.7%).In the country like the Philippines, it is new for the Filipino people, especially for the Filipino women to work for their family and to provide their needs.
Usually Filipino men are the providers and women are in charge on their houses to do the household chores and to take care of their children. However, when the opportunity opens to the Filipino women to work inside and outside the country they grab the opportunity on the demand for women workers. According to Guerrero, et al. (2000), women domestic workers come from developing countries. Most of them are unmarried and young while only few are married who took risk to work abroad and leave their families in the country. Aside from the availability for female jobs worldwide one of the contributing factors on why women workers rate increases is poverty. Sayres (2007) asserts that women are more reliable in sending remittances to the families left behind than men based on the conducted studies.
Based on the article by Maymon (2017) women usually work as nannies, nurses, maids and even sex workers abroad not because they want to but their life situation pressures them to do something for their family when men members are in trouble in looking for jobs to support their needs. Another reason for hiring women over men on jobs especially in manufacturing industries is the belief of women are obedient, industrious and submissive in nature especially Filipino women considering the history of Filipino culture whereas women only stayed at home and cannot decide for important family matters for Filipino families are commonly patriarchal.According to the “un” sex disaggregated statistics from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas indicates that from the year 1989-2009, there were around 372,718 Filipino spouses and partners of foreign nationals. Mostly, of them were Female Filipinos that migrated to the other countries. It is very rare for Filipino men to marry a foreigner because many of women were open to learn a new language, in different places, and accepting to an unfamiliar culture and tradition.
Filipinas are more willing to work abroad and earn a lot, so that, they have money to send for their family in the Philippines. There at times they fall in love and get married to their employers, or to other nationality and ended up staying there. The majority has settled in the USA (41.55%), Japan (29.04%), Australia, Canada, Germany, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, So, Korea, Norway, Sweden and others.The world drifts its favor from men to women.
Today, female domestication became more prevalent worldwide. When the opportunity opens for the feminization of domestic workers Filipino women respond to its demand due to the unending poverty and contractualization cases in the Philippines. Even though it is hard for them to leave their own family to work for another families Filipino women endure their homesickness for the sake of their family’s future.