In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

1. Introduction The lives of migrant women have generally received far less attention than their male counterparts . So, despite the long history of women’s internal and cross-border migration, their stories and lives have remained largely undocumented (Dodson, 2000). Male migrants, and particularly mineworkers and truck drivers, have also been the primary focus of research on the relationship between HIV and migration (Crush et al., 2002; Lurie et al., 2003; Zuma et al., 2003; Lurie, 2004). At times, their partners – usually called ‘women at risk’ – have been included in research. Other researchers have started to look at the sexual activities of women ‘left behind’ by their migrant male partners (Lurie et al., 2003). Yet little attention has been paid to the vulnerability of female migrants themselves to HIV infection and their access to healthcare and treatment. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. In 2001, over 3 225 000 people were counted in the Census. The city is also home to the largest number of migrants of any city in South Africa. Census 2001 found that 35,2 per cent of the population of Johannesburg were internal migrants born outside Gauteng Province and 6,7 per cent were cross-border migrants or had been born outside South Africa. When people think of migrant workers, they usually think of male migrants, yet women have a long history of migration to Johannesburg. If place of birth is used as a marker of migrancy, Census 2001 shows that in Johannesburg women constitute a significant proportion of migrant workers in the city. For some provinces (Eastern Cape, Free State, Northwest and Western Cape), women migrants to Gauteng exceed the number of men (Figure 12.1). RESTLESS WORLDS OF WORK, HEALTH AND MIGRATION: DOMESTIC WORKERS IN JOHANNESBURG NATALYA DINAT AND SALLY PEBERDY 12 Chapter|197| Figure 12.1: Population of Johannesburg by Gender and Place of Birth (%), 2001 Domestic work, although often characterised as ‘atypical work’ in the service sector, provides significant opportunities for employment for black women in South Africa. In 2004, it was the second largest employment sector for South Africa’s black female workforce, employing some 755 000 women (StatsSA, 2005). Census 2001 found that work in private households is the largest source of employment for black South African women in Johannesburg, with 88 000 women so employed (31 per cent of employed black women). Available evidence suggests that domestic work has traditionally been, and remains, a significant area of employment for internal and cross-border female migrant workers (Miles, 1991, 1996; Cockerton, 1997). Census 2001 data obtained from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) shows that 42 per cent of employed black women from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who lived in Johannesburg worked in private households, although they comprised only 4,9 per cent of women working in private households in the city (StatsSA, 2004). Census 2001 also shows that some 35,6 per cent of employed black South African women born outside Gauteng Province who lived in Johannesburg worked in private households as compared to 9 per cent of employed black women who were born in Gauteng and lived in Johannesburg (StatsSA, 2004). Many domestic workers are migrant workers. They endure poor working conditions and low incomes despite attempts by the Department of Labour to set minimum standards. Many live in isolation on their employers’ properties and lack opportunities for collective action to improve their working conditions. Low incomes and arduous working conditions mean that access to health services may be limited, as time away from work may mean lost income. Eastern Cape Free State Gauteng KwaZulu-Natal Men Women Limpopo Mpumalanga Northern Cape North West Western Cape Outside South Africa Percent 30 – 40 – 50 – 60 – 70 – 80 – 90 – 100 – 20 – 10 – 0 – SURVIVING ON THE MOVE: MIGRATION, POVERTY AND DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA|198| Domestic workers could be at increased risk of HIV infection as a result of their gender, migrancy, social isolation, poverty, low levels of education, lack of access to healthcare services , and lack of power at work and possibly at home (Peberdy & Dinat, 2005). This chapter explores the vulnerability of migrant domestic workers to HIV/AIDS. It is based on a survey of 1100 female domestic workers working in the Johannesburg Magisterial District (JMD) undertaken in 2004 by the Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP) and Baragwanath Perinatal HIV/AIDS Unit. The sample was identified using a cluster sampling technique from 94 randomly selected census enumerated areas in the JMD. The random selection of enumeration areas...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.