Handbook on Gender in Asia
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Handbook on Gender in Asia

Edited by Shirlena Huang and Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

The Handbook on Gender in Asia critically examines, through a gender perspective, five broad themes of significance to Asia: the ‘Theory and Practice’ of researching in Asia; ‘Gender, Ageing and Health’; ‘Gender and Labour’; ‘Gendered Migrations and Mobilities’; and ‘Gender at the Margins’. With each chapter providing an overview of the key intellectual developments on the issue under discussion, as well as empirical examples to examine how the Asian case sheds light on these debates, this collection will be an invaluable reference for scholars of gender and Asia.
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Chapter 21: Migrant workers and childcare at the place of destination: An overview of issues in the Mekong region, South East Asia

Kyoko Kusakabe


Migrant workers’ childcare is often discussed in the context of transnational families and distance mothering. This chapter looks at different types of childcare arrangements that domestic and cross-border migrant workers make. It shows instances in which women migrant workers take care of children themselves, where they juggle their resources and networks to earn and do childcare. The chapter argues for the importance of childcare support for migrant workers. Even though wage and working condition improvement is still the most important concern for migrants, providing childcare support can reduce their expenditure and improve their choices in work. Since countries, such as Cambodia and Myanmar, have laws that obligate employers to provide childcare centers in workplaces, claiming for childcare support is an under-utilized resource that has the potential to improve migrant workers’ well-being.

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