Michele Stopera Freyhauf, MA’12 will speak at the United Nations on the Commission on the Status of Women, March 9, 2013. She will be on a panel with Linn Tonstad Ph.D. (Yale Divinity School) and Gina Messina-Dysert, MA’07. Diane Callister (UN Ambassador and Mother of the Year) will be the moderator. Ms. Freyhauf’s paper is called “Cyber Brides: Female Subjugation, Patriarchal Hegemony, and Economic Enslavement.”
Summary of the panel’s piece “Globalization and Violence Against Women: Examining Female Labor, Migration, and the Impact on Families” follows:
Globalization has had an incredible impact on women around the world and has resulted in border crossing for economic opportunities for millions. Women from countries struggling with poverty are leaving their homes, and their families, to migrate to prosperous states where they can find work, support themselves, and provide for their loved ones. In wealthy countries like the U.S., women are taking on careers and are hiring women from poverty stricken nations to take on “women’s work.” Thus, women struggling in poverty are taking up a global commute and leaving their own children behind to care for the children of other women.
While some female migrants find work as maids or nannies, others take on the role of sex workers as there is a high demand for the “exotic” other as sexual partner. In addition, with a pattern of migrants taking on unwanted labor, sex work has become a field flooded with Third World women. This said, many women find themselves manipulated into crossing boarders only to have their passports stolen, mobility halted, and are forced into the sex trade. Thus the process of globalization has resulted in massive costs to Third World women where economic opportunities require a global commute, separation from family, exploitation, and risk of becoming sex slaves. Success means assuming the rejected roles of First World women, being hidden behind closed doors, exploited, and often raising someone else’s children while their own family suffers in their absence.
This panel will examine the high costs of globalization for women, gender and economic inequity, and the overall impact on families. Proposals will be made to improve the lives and opportunities of migrant women engaged in domestic work, to prevent trafficking and enslavement, and to counterbalance the systematic transfer of “women’s work” from poor to wealthy nations and the impact on the children and families left behind.
- American Mothers
- The Singer Foundation
- Claremont Graduate University
- The Center for Women’s Interdisciplinary Research and Education
For more information, here is a link to the conference http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm