The gendered lived work experiences of young rural-urban migrants in Hanoi

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Presentation given at Gendered dimensions of migration: Material and social outcomes of South-South migration. 30 June - 2 July 2015 at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore http://migratingoutofpoverty.dfid.gov.uk/research/womenandchildren/gendered_dimensions
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  • 1. The gendered lived work experiences of young rural-urban migrants in Hanoi Thao Dang & Paul Henman School of Social Science The University of Queensland Gendered dimension of migration: Material and social outcomes of South-South migration 30 June - 2nd July 2015, Singapore
  • 2. Overview of presentation • Research context • Research questions • Research design • Findings • Discussion and conclusion • Questions and answers
  • 3. Research context • What have known about internal migration? - Increased number of internal migrants, younger and feminisation - Low skill migrant workers mainly employed in the urban informal employment, concentrating in three sectors: service, construction, and manufacturing - Male and female experienced migration process and outcomes differently - High level of exploitation (difficult work, long w/hour, low pay) and high risk and vulnerability) - Limited opportunities for career development
  • 4. Research questions • What are the lived work experiences of young male and female rural-urban migrants? • What factors mediate the lived work experiences of young male and female migrants?
  • 5. Research design • Qualitative research • Methods: participant interviews, adapted- photo-voice, and field observation • Research site: Hanoi, Vietnam • Participants: - 12 (5M, 7F) young rural-urban migrants, aged 18-25; - employed in the construction and service sector; - living and working in Hanoi from 1-4 years; - Education: primary-high school completion
  • 6. Participants’ profile Name Gender Employment sector Occupation Working sites Got the job through Cuong Male Constructionsector Brick layer + Plumber Construction sites Uncle and male friend of mother Tam Male Construction worker Construction sites Male friend (Co-villager) Duc Male Metal worker Construction sites + Family workshop Uncle Lam Male Metal worker Construction sites + Family workshop Male friend Ha Female Servicesector Housemaid Family home Broker lady Hang Female Housemaid Family home Broker lady Nga Female Hairdresser Family hairdressing store Female friend of grandma Mai Female Hairdresser Family hairdressing store Female friend Linh Female Restaurant waitress Restaurant Male friend Xuan Female Shop assistant Market Broker lady Hoa Female Flower maker Shop assistant Shop + Market Female friend (co- villager) Hung Male Sales assistant Store Uncle
  • 7. Findings: Gendered migration networks- getting work  Friendship network: The first time I came to Hanoi I was accompanied by a friend in my village. He worked there [as a construction worker] and he asked me if I wanted to go to work with him [when he visited hometown]. So I just followed him. (Tam, male, construction worker)  Relative network When I finished high school, I did not take exam into higher education. My uncle asked me if I wanted to work for him. And I came here to work for him since then (Hung, male, sales assistant)  Employment brokerage service She introduced me to the job and got paid… She lives just close to my house [in the village], she earns money by introducing people like us to the employers… (Hang, female, domestic worker)
  • 8. Working conditions: Domestic workplaces • Working and living at the same place • More female than male respondents worked in this setting; females involved in domestic work while male did not • Long working hours (particularly females as they involved with extra domestic based work) • Female had limited or no interactions with outsiders while males did • Females are confined within this domestic space while males involved travelling to their workplaces
  • 9. Working conditions: Public workplaces • Busy, fast changing working environment • Interacting with many people, dealing with customers, handling cashes • Long working hours but more freedom after work as work and living spaces were separated • More females than males working in this environment • Highly gendered social relations at workplaces (i.e same gender workmates and employer)
  • 10. Working conditions: Mobile workplaces • Frequently change of work venue-move from one place to another • Jobs are heavy, difficult (outdoor conditions), physical demanding • No female was found on this work environment
  • 11. Workplace safety and vulnerability • High level of exploitation • High risk of involving in accidents in construction sites (M), but • Low awareness and lack of workplace safety enforcement • Responsibility to compensate for valuable goods damaged or stolen • Female migrants experienced risk of gender-based abuse
  • 12. Summary of key findings Domestic Public Mobile Employment networks Friends, co-villagers, broker services Friends, co-villagers, relatives Friends, co-villagers, relatives Working conditions • Workplace was also living place • Workplace was separated from accommodation • Workplace venues frequently changed • Participants lived temporarily at the construction site Gender • Female migrants dominated • Female dominated • Male exclusively Working hours • Very long working hours, no clear boundary between work and out of work hours • Females involves extra unpaid domestic based work while males did not • More regulated working hours • Long hours but entitled to overtime payment • More freedom after working hours due to separation between working and living space • Fluctuated working hour pattern and payment, dependent on workload, and from contract to contract Workplace safety & vulnerability • High level of exploitation • Responsibility to compensate for damaged or stolen goods • High risk of involving in accidents at work
  • 13. Discussion and Conclusion • Social networks play important role in facilitating migration and jobs for both young male and female migrants • High level of exploration especially among ‘domestic’ workers  Separation of workplace and accommodation might have important positive implication on reducing labour exploitation • High level of workplace injuries and vulnerability (construction workers in particular)  workplace safety procedure needed to be strictly observed by both migrants workers and their employers • Some contrasts between migrant workers in ‘domestic’ and ‘mobile’ environment which might have important consequences on their long terms capital outcomes
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