Parents' Overseas Migration and Gender Division of Labor among Filipino Children

Marie Joy B. Arguillas, Cornell University

This study examines the consequences of overseas migration of parents on the gender division of labor among children in Filipino families. Data from selected provinces in the Philippines indicate that the pattern of household task allocation among children differs according to which parent is abroad. Families where neither parent is abroad demonstrate lower propensity for sex-typing of household tasks. In families where the father is abroad, gender-segregation in task allocation among children is also weak because the mother performs most of the household tasks. Absence of the mother at home due to overseas migration is congenial to gender-based allocation of household tasks. Previous studies show that the employment of the mother away from home sinks the daughters deeper into domestic roles but mother's overseas employment exacerbates the daughters' situation vis-a-vis their male siblings. Such family structure created by overseas migration of the mother perpetuates gender asymmetry in the household division of labor.

Presented in Session 29: Non-Economic Consequences of Migration for Origin Communities