Organized Global Feminist Coalition And Care Networks.

Global feminists go even farther by examining global care networks. 

A worldwide care chain is a network of carers linked by contractual ties. 

A care chain is established when a rich First World lady employs a poor woman from another country to come to her house and care for her children. 

However, the chain may go on for a long time. 

The impoverished lady may have abandoned her own children in her own country. 

In such scenario, she may either employ another woman to care for her children (for even lesser pay) or depend on family members to take over her domestic and familial responsibilities. 

So, while a woman in the West can enjoy her relative freedom with the assistance of a domestic servant from a Third World country – and the domestic servant can earn more money than she could in her own country – the Third World domestic worker has had to give up something important: her motherly relationship with her own children. 

The contractual agreement between carers for the transfer of caring services from one person to another is one element of this relationship. 

This is sometimes set out in great detail in a service contract. 

At other times, it's a handshake that seals the deal. 

Furthermore, caregiving is seldom a nine-to-five profession, with certain hours requiring much more effort than others. 

If the hours and pay of the hired caregiver are not specified in the work contract, the hired caregiver may be exploited. 

Employers and carers may also try to develop a pleasant (caring) relationship with one other, whether or not there is a formal contract in place. 

While such a connection may be beneficial in terms of facilitating cultural interchange, it can also be abused if the employer expects certain things from a friend that would not be expected of an employee. 

The employee is exploited, for example, when employers use social connections to urge caregivers to be available at the last minute or during planned off-duty hours. 

The domestic worker and the employer are never on an equal footing in their relationship, and pretending to be friends, which is based on equality, only serves to disadvantage the worker. 

The employer has control over the employee in terms of the salary that is paid, as well as the employee's immigrant status, language difficulties, distance from home country, cultural and family isolation, and general vulnerability. 

Care is another component of global care networks. 

Caregivers often form close bonds with the people they look after. 

However, when a caregiver has left her own children behind in her native country, she is unable to show her love for them on a regular basis. 

This isn't to imply she doesn't care about them or that the kid she looks after is more important to her than her own children (although both of those might be the case in any given situation). 

The argument is that demonstrating concern for one's own children becomes much more difficult when they are separated by national boundaries, seas, or continents. 

This reality may cause us to reconsider what constitutes care or to condemn global care networks for depriving some impoverished children of their moms' affection so that rich women may work outside the house or have more leisure time free of domestic obligations. 

The third thing to consider regarding global care networks is that they often depend on or perpetuate gender labor divides. 

Gender divisions of work may even be used in relationships between affluent employers. 

Frequently, a rich family looking to employ a domestic worker or live-in caretaker delegates the hiring and administration of that domestic worker to the woman, recruits only female candidates, and expects all family members to behave in typically feminine ways (quiet, nurturing, and attentive, but also deferential, submissive, and passive). 

Any issues that arise as a result of the female's failure to employ an appropriate caretaker for ‘her' children, her incapacity to be a ‘proper mother,' or just the gendered assumption that all matters pertaining to children fall to the woman, would be her duty. 

Caregivers often leave their native nation in search of better pay, exposure to or adventure in a new culture, or to avoid being sold into slavery by family members. 

In other cases, the female caregiver already has a college degree and is a qualified professional. 

Employers are drawn to such caregivers for a variety of reasons, including what Joan Tronto refers to as "competitive mothering." Employers that hire a caregiver with a different profession or a college degree essentially receive the advantage of those talents in their children's education and early training while just paying for the care. 

Finally, global care networks span the globe. 

They bring women from all over the world together, but that togetherness isn't always desired. 

While global care chains may contribute to a generation of affluent children growing up with an understanding of a culture and language other than their own, such understanding comes at a cost. 

Not only will these young people grow up believing that they can pay others to do their dirty labor (such as cleaning up vomit and dirty diapers) and nurturing work for them, but they may also think that other women's children are less valuable than their own.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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