Executive Summary for May 11th

In this week’s executive summary for Women’s Advancement Deeply, we report on China’s plans to take thousands of domestic workers from the Philippines, the need for gender-sensitive trade in East Africa and mixed results on women’s economic mobility worldwide.

Published on May 11, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

China Opens Its Door to Filipino Migrant Workers

Manila and Beijing are close to a deal that would give 300,000 Filipinos legal employment status in China, bringing the total number of Filipinos working in the country to around half a million.

An estimated 200,000 Filipino migrants are already working illegally in China, most of them as domestic workers.

Hong Kong has been welcoming maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries for many years, but mainland China has only recently started relaxing its laws against unskilled foreign workers. Filipino maids have long been popular with Chinese families, in part due to their fluency in English, but up until last year they could not legally work in the country. In March 2017, Shanghai became the first city in mainland China to grant a residence permit to a foreign domestic worker.

The announcement of the upcoming deal comes less than two weeks after Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte permanently banned Filipinos from going to work in Kuwait, in response to reports of the abuse of Filipina domestic workers in the Gulf state.

United Nations Recommends ‘Gender-Sensitive’ Trade Policies for East African Countries

Countries in the East African Community (EAC) can better address gender inequalities and boost women’s workforce participation by cooperating on policies such as education, job training and access to credit, according to a new report by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The report looks at gender and trade issues in five of the six EAC countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – to study the impact of regional integration on women’s employment and well-being.

The report notes that while the economies of the EAC have mostly moved away from farming toward services and industry, the majority of women in all five countries still work in agriculture. It also shows that while four of the five countries in the study had high economic growth rates over the past decade – with the exception of Burundi – rates of gender inequality remain high, implying that gender equality is not a natural result of development.

Education Gap Closing, but Intergenerational Mobility Still Harder for Women

Rising education levels among girls are not necessarily translating into better economic opportunities in much of the world, a new World Bank report into intergenerational mobility has found, with many children trapped in a cycle of poverty and unable to outearn their parents.

While the gap in economic mobility between girls and boys is “close to zero” in Brazil, China, Egypt and Indonesia, the report finds, it is as wide as it has ever been in India and Nigeria. Women’s educational outcomes are improving across the board, but women in countries with large gender gaps in labor participation are unlikely to turn that education into better earnings.

The report draws on information from a new database on intergenerational mobility in 148 countries, and found that overall progress has stalled over the past 30 years.

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