Pacita is a twenty-seven-year-old domestic worker working in Dubai.
She is originally from Manila and arrived in Dubai in October 1998. At the
time of the interview she had been working there for just over a year. She is
married and has two children, who are being taken care of by her mother-
in-law in the Philippines.
Pacita left home to work overseas in order to escape her husband. Her marriage was dif?cult from the start. Her husband, a ?sherman, lost his job
soon after they married. After that, he worked at odd jobs and made some
money, but never enough to support the entire family. For four years, Pacita
worked in a garment factory in a neighboring village, where she made 130
pesos (US$3) a day. Their income was just enough to make ends meet. In
fact, money was not really a major source of con?ict for them. "I had lots of
problems with my husband," she recalled. "He had many girls." In addition,
he was sometimes abusive; he beat her whenever they had quarrels.
When friends told her that lifewas good overseas, she immediately jumped
at the idea. She visited a recruitment agency where a friend worked and im-
mediately found a job as a domestic worker in Dubai. Pacita only told her
sister about her new job before she left home. "My sister was supportive of
my decision, but I didn"t let my mom know. She didn"t know about it until
I came here."She did not even inform her husband of her migration until
she arrived in Dubai. When I asked her how he reacted to her working over-
seas, she said: "He said nothing".