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Microsoft Word crm-ptmt el Salvador 2009[final]. doc

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Regional Conference on Migration

 

 

41

for them to access these positions. However, Pacecca and Courtis (2008) have noticed that over-

qualification among household workers is not always followed by higher salaries – at least in Argentina. 

Another significant fact is that most female migrant women employed as household workers 

are mothers. In Argentina, for example, 66% of the total number of Peruvian household workers have 

children; as do 72% of the Nicaraguan household workers in Costa Rica, 85% of Peruvians in Chile, 

and 87% of the Colombian women in Venezuela. This is significant, firstly, because it means that 

these women are financially responsible for their children, and second, because it is a tangible sign of 

women’s autonomy in their decision-making relating to migration, in cases of women migrating on 

their own (Martínez, 2007). 

Economic vulnerability and lack of empowerment, together with motherhood, drive women 

to accept less prestigious employment with lower salaries than men with similar qualifications. This 

causes occupational segregation and segmentation in precarious and high-risk jobs such as housework 

(Cortés, 2005; Staab, 2003; Szas and Lerner, 200, quoted in CEPAL, 2008). The problem lies in the 

lack of protection and the discrimination that women are subject to in carrying out these tasks. This 

potentiates their vulnerability even more, especially if they remain undocumented.

  

 

GRAPH 9 

LATIN AMERICA: PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE MIGRANT HOUSEHOLD  

WORKERS, BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH, CIRCA 2000 

8,9

16,8

18,9

19,2

30,1

4,2

1,5

24,2

16,0

32,2

13,7

19,5

6,6

37,9

5,1

35,8

48,0

17,7

12,6

2,6

27,1

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cuba

Ecuador

El Salvador

Guatemala

Haiti

Honduras

Mexico

Nicaragua

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Dominican

Uruguay

Venezuela

Total

C

o

u

n

try

 o

f B

irt

h

Percentage

 

Source: Table 6. 



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