The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism
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The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism

Global and Development Perspectives

Edited by Laura Oso and Natalia Ribas Mateos

The International Handbook on Gender, Migration and Transnationalism represents a state-of-the-art review of the critical importance of the links between gender and migration in a globalising world. It draws on original, largely field-based contributions by authors across a range of disciplinary provenances worldwide.
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Chapter 15: The internationalization of domestic work and female immigration in Spain during a decade of economic expansion, 1999–2008

Elena Vidal-Coso and Pau Miret-Gamundi


During the decade covered by our study, Spain experienced an important growth in the volume of its female immigrant workers. According to the Spanish Labour Force Survey (SLFS), from 1999 to 2008, the number of employed immigrant women increased from 226,639 to 1,530,926. In relative terms, that is an increase from 4.4 to 18 per cent of all employed women in Spain. We believe that this recent influx of females is the product of the extraordinary upward labour and social mobility of young Spanish women. This mobility has generated a new labour demand to fill the lower-level positions left vacant by the Spanish population. These new vacancies are predominantly in domestic and other personal services and are due to the increase of Spanish female participation in the labour market. Effectively, the massive arrival of immigrant women is largely in response to the externalization of domestic tasks.

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