Gender and Global Labour Migrations: Incorporating Skilled Workers



Female labour migration has increased in the past two decades, and has become more complex and interconnected, attracting considerable attention from researchers and policy makers. Earlier debates on the relationship between production and reproduction have resurfaced in a period of changing configurations of welfare states; contemporary theorisations of global labour migration are now paying attention to the role of women in the reproductive sector. However, much of the literature has focused on migrants who enter the lesser-skilled sectors, in particular domestic labour. In this paper we argue that the migration of women into skilled sectors of the labour market, especially in health, alters our understanding of the role of migrant women in social reproduction. Migrant women are present in multiple sites and spheres of reproduction beyond the household and recognising the different ways in which they are incorporated into globalised labour markets challenges simplistic representations of migrant women and draws out a fuller appreciation of their contribution to social reproduction and welfare in the First World.