"I Don't Make Coffee for My Husband in the Morning": Gender and Precarious Life among Home-based Workers in the Philippines
- Anthropological Quarterly
- George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
- Volume 91, Number 1, Winter 2018
- pp. 365-391
- Additional Information
This article is about precariousness of work and shifting gender roles among Filipina home-based workers, who labor from or nearby their homes either as industrial homeworkers working for an employer, or as own-account laborers—sometimes referred to as the self-employed. It demonstrates how gender and the globalization of production are formed, negotiated, and challenged by people through their localized ideas and practices. Focusing on the persons who have mobilized through Patamaba and Homenet Southeast Asia, I examine the relation between work and life, or workplace and home, which for a long time has involved a spatial division of gender roles that increasingly have been called into question. At the center of the analysis are the shrinking national labor market and growing spatial mobility of women due to their mobilization for the rights of the home-based workers. Because of this changing socio-economic environment, people's experiences of labor are much more complex than the binary gender discourses, as they constantly alternate between home and work, and reproduction and production, as well as the private and political. Finally, I suggest that the growing precarization of life must be approached from a gender viewpoint, which often has been bypassed in the scholarly debate.