GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Wage Differences across Female Domestic Workers: The Perspectives of Qatari Women
Paper Proposal Text :
This paper studies wage differences across female domestic workers/helpers in Qatar. Female domestic workers, whose number is estimated at millions, represent a large section of today's migrant workers’ population in the Gulf countries. The windfall of oil revenues which allowed the Gulf countries to improve the living conditions of their people through welfare schemes and to expand their public sectors- which is responsible for wider employment of women- made the presence of female domestic workers more significant and noticeable in the Gulf countries in general and in Qatar in particular. Although female domestic helpers generally perform similar tasks for their employers, patterns of their employment in Qatar and elsewhere in the Gulf show wage gap between different nationalities. For example, employers tend to pay Philippine and Indonesian female domestic helpers more wage than their counterparts from other Asian and African countries as a whole; while Ethiopian domestic workers are paid more than female domestic helpers from other African countries.
In light of the disparities in the wages of female domestic workers in Qatar, this paper seeks to understand multiple factors that encourage employers to pay higher wage to domestic workers from specific countries despite the fact domestic workers generally perform similar household works. To this end, qualitative research method will be adopted to obtain information from Qatari women- through interviews based upon open-response questions- in order to explain different factors that embolden payment of higher wage to be restricted to female domestic helper of certain nationalities while these domestic workers carryout similar household duties with other female domestic workers who receive lower salary.
While much has been written in recent years on the migrant workers in the Gulf in general and on domestic worker in particular, relatively little have be done on the wage differences across migrants workers in the Gulf, let alone among female domestic workers in Qatar. Therefore, this study would contribute to the existing literature that focuses on migration in the Gulf region by addressing this neglected aspects of migrants’ workers in the region.

Keywords: female Domestic workers, wage, Qatar, migrant’s workers