I have just read this article titled,"The globalisation of care: Filipina domestic workers and care for the elderly in Cyprus" by Prodromos Panayiotopoulos and found it very interesting. First of all, to give a little background on this article, here is a summary about it. Due to the increase of demand for elderly care in many of the countries, there is also an increase in the care for these elderly people and a solution to this was to employ domestic workers. These domestic workers are usually from over sea and are foreign workers and most of the time, it is the Filipino women that are employed as maid and nannies. So since there is lack of work available in their country and there is a high need for money in able to support their families, these women decided to take the advantage and work for money. These nannies take of the elderly people by bathing, showing them, dressing and undressing them, help them in and out of bed and move around and many more. The amount of work really depends on how depended that elder person is. One of the countries they got employed in is in Cypriot and where there are over half (51.3 percent) of the foreign domestic workers were all immigrant women (Panayiotopoulos, 10). The reasons why countries like Cypriot choose to employ foreign domestic workers is because according to the article, since women of either working class nor professional, it is them who are usually the ones who needs to take care of the elderly people that are close to them and still have other things to take care such as their own children, housework and jobs outside of the home, they found it essential to hire foreign maids into their homes. This idea of hiring maids into their homes is especially convenient for professional women who can now feel like the get more things done and not be under a lot of pressure. Along with the article, it goes on to say that one significant factor that had an impact on immigrant workers was the raising level of xenophobia in Greek Cypriot, especially with the nationalists who seem to be the most opposed to immigrants. Foreign workers were blamed for all kinds of things, such as prostitution and drug taking. They were often mistreated through violence such as sexual violence, were overworked more than what was beyond the amount of hours on their contract, and were not given any days off.
Along with the article, Prodromos have even said that according to the officials from the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, foreign workers and the domestic workers were treated differently. The foreign workers in industrial establishments were covered by the collective agreements but with domestic workers, they were not covered by any collective agreements at all.
After reading this article, I am overly disturbed by the mistreatment of these women. These Filipino women have came to work out of their country to earn a living and are being taken advantage of and I think that something should be done soon or some kind of action needs to be done. These women are especially vulnerable to violence because of they are working in a foreign place where their lack of language might have been a barrier for them to protest against the mistreatment of their employers so I do not blame them for not being able to do much about it now but the problem has gone too far. Also, I am mad that collective agreements were covered for the other foreign workers and not the domestic workers. The article says that the reason why they did not cover collective agreements among the domestic workers is because there would be too many, like 11,000 collective agreements (Panayiotopoulos, p 11) to be made if they were to be all covered but I think that was not the only reason. They were just trying to make an excuse in able to not have to deal with the problems when it came or by not having the domestic workers have any collective agreements, they probably just wanted to take advantage of the domestic workers so then the domestic workers would be less likely to be able to confront their mistreatment because then, they never had any agreements in the first place and nothing much can be say in that situation.
Panayiotopoulos, Prodromos. 2005. “The globalisation of care: Filipina domestic workers and care for the elderly in Cyprus.” Capital & Class. Issue 86. p.1-36.
Here is the link for the file of this aritcle in much more details