Chapter 26: Globalization and health: gender issues in temporary agricultural work (Huelva)
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A research agenda for gender and migration that does not include agricultural workers as a globalized labour force would be incomplete. Agriculture today continues to be a major human activity in the world. However, despite the mechanisation of many tasks and the technological innovations that may reduce the need for human labour, the demand for hands and shoulders to be employed in a large number of crops has not substantially diminished in the last decades. A growing population, and the search for some sort of food sovereignty, accordingly require increasing food production in every country and, therefore, the agricultural work will not disappear, as many foretold decades or centuries ago. Everywhere, however, long-term or specific seasonal agricultural tasks are left to be done by those populations who are less demanding on job conditions or have fewer options outside the intensive agriculture. That means that sometimes owners prefer to employ women as farmworkers, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds. In this chapter, based on recent literature on the interconnection of migration and health, and more specifically the case of strawberry pickers in the province of Huelva (Spain), we will critically revise different aspects in which a confluence of diverse health issues, of different nature, involved in female farm working take a prominent role. In so doing, we aim at contributing to highlight the very high social costs of our contemporary form of economic organisation and living (Gertel & Sippel, 2014).

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