Nowadays, the pattern of migrant workers migration has been shifted from the previous trend. It has become more feminine. According to a 2004 data issued by the UN, the total number of women migrant workers has more than doubled, from 35 millions to 85 millions, between 1960 and 2000. Note that currently women migrant workers compose 48.6% of all migrants in the world, and this number will increase along with the shift in the above-mentioned pattern.
Current's world economic trend has a large contribution in making this shift possible. Previously, women's role was only as housewives while men were expected to work hard for their families. Now, women can do the same as men. More and more women are eager to work hard, even in foreign countries for the sake of their families' lives. These women are not dependent on their husbands anymore. Foreign countries has become such a promising land for them, especially amidst the unpredictable economic situation in their home countries.
Furthermore, world's economic situation has become more competitive in the past decades. A competitive situation has resulted in many professional workers have to work extra hours until after office hours. Consequently, many of them cannot divide time between work and family wisely. Migrant workers then offer a solution. Migrant workers were asked to take care of the children and the houses while the parents work until night. Such phenomenon can be found in many developed countries.
Global capitalistic economic system has given birth to a new economic class, the conglomerates. This new class is benefited from the presence of international corporate companies that expand their businesses into the conglomerates' home countries. This phenomenon is not only seen in the developed countries, but it's also seen in the developing countries. Those members of the upper-class society want the best service for their families. They need special house maids to ensure that their children are well-fed and that their houses are taken care of. Even how the maids look like become a special issue for them. They would prefer beautiful, attractive, and light-skinned women who are also skillful.
Women migrant workers are not only needed in household industry, they are also needed in manufacture industry. Global competition requires big companies to press their operational fees so that they can still be competitive. Most commonly, cutting operational fees can be done by reducing labor costs. Many companies tend to look for workers who are obedient, and more importantly, do not mind with low payment. Most of the workers who fall into this category are women. For example, there are many women workers from the Philippines who work in manufacturing companies in Taiwan. As such, there are lots of women workers from Indonesia who migrate to Malaysia.
The last factor that should be included in the explanations of why the number of women migrant workers keeps increasing is the flourishing sex industry. International network of the sex industry has moved a lot of female from a country to another country. In many cases, what really happens can be classified as human trafficking. For example, in Japan, more than 150,000 women migrant workers work in this sector. Most of them are young, attractive, light-skinned women coming from Thailand and the Philippines. This whole sex industry contributed to about 1% of Japan's GDP. This phenomenon is not only found in Japan. Myanmar exports 20,000-30,000 of its female workers to work in Thailand's sex industry; Nepal exports about 10,000 women to India and about 200,000 to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Again, many of them are the victims of human trafficking. Before these women get sent from their home country, they don't know that they will be employed as sex workers.
Death Tolls on the Borders
Silicon Valley : The Valley of Opportunity
Human Trafickking in Africa
Lin Lean Lim. The Sex Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia.