La posta in gioco dei diritti delle donne migranti nell’Unione europea. Schiavitù, prostituzione e traffico di donne. (Ing. & Fr.)

The Challenges of Framing Women Migrants’ Rights in the European Union

In all countries of the European Union domestic work performed by migrant women, often in an irregular legal status, is increasing. Many workers face poor living and exploitative working conditions. Over the last decades, migrant domestic workers and advocacy organizations have developed multi-level strategies to improve those living and working conditions. In the contribution different and sometimes contradicting strategies of how a European network of migrant domestic workers and other actors mobilize will be identified and analyzed. It will be argued that the resonance the network achieved in the European Union was ambivalent and encompassed unintended consequences : On the one hand it allowed structural access to EU policy makers but on the other hand it narrowed down the political opportunities due to a fusion of migration policies and security policies. Continue reading

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Le donne e la globalizzazione – Silvia Federici (Ing. & Fr.)

Women and Globalization  Silvia Federici

“Globalization” has been described in different ways. In the literature emanating from the international financial institutions, it is portrayed as a more effective system of economic management, ensuring the free circulation of goods and enhancing the “comparative advantage” of different countries, each presumably utilizing its resources to the best effect for both local populations and world development. Policy-analysts thus stress the globalization of financial markets, capital investments, new technologies which, we are told, will lead in the foreseeable future to increased prosperity also in the “developing” countries. My own perspective is that “globalization” is a strategy seeking to determine a process of global proletarianization and the formation of a global labor market as means to cheapen the cost of labor, reduce workers’ entitlements, and intensify exploitation. These, in fact, are the most unmistakable effects of the policies by which globalization is driven. But however defined, the social and economic consequences of globalization cannot be denied. After two decades of globalizing interventions in the world economy (creation of the World Trade organization (WTO), structural adjustment, TRIPS, etc.) one billion people live in conditions of “absolute poverty” (UN Population Fund 2001). Meanwhile, the Third World debt has increased from $800 billion in 1980 to a staggering $2,900 billion in 1999 (World Bank 2000), precluding the possibility of repayment, while the predicted industrialization of the Third World has not materialized despite the proliferation of Free Processing Zones (FPZs). Most important, mechanisms are now in place – debt servicing, structural adjustment, import liberalization and, crucial to all, generalized warfare – that systematically lead millions of people away from their means of subsistence, uprooting them from their lands, their jobs, their countries, in what appears as the largest proletarianization and migration process since the turn of the 20th century (Federici 1992; 1999). Continue reading