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Womens Cityward Migration, Domestic Service and Schooling in Southern Mexico

Jayne Howell


That 40,000 women work as household workers in Oaxaca City (population 450,000) is deemed very high for a country as developed as Mexico (Selby, Murphy and Lorenzon 1991:48; INEGI 2001). Ethnographic data collected among women currently and at one time working as either full-time or daily/hourly domestic workers shed light on the realities faced by unskilled women cityward migrants who find employment in the lowest paid, least prestigious jobs in the urban economy. Two case studies are presented to illustrate ways that women's paid household labor can finance their own or their children's acquisition of the schooling requisite for more gainful, higher paid forms of urban formal sector employment.


Oaxacans; Mexico; domestic workers; women; schooling

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