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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-119

Improving the living standards and health status of the migrant women workers


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication27-Nov-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_5_18

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Improving the living standards and health status of the migrant women workers. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:118-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Improving the living standards and health status of the migrant women workers. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 11];9:118-9. Available from: http://www.mjmsr.net/text.asp?2018/9/2/118/246174



Dear Editor,

Amid the trends of globalization, lack of job opportunities in developing nations, increased life expectancy, and a significant rise in the dependency ratio, there has been a remarkable hike in the involvement of women workers.[1],[2] Further, across the globe, a large number of migrant women have been entering the labor workforce, and more often than not they have been employed in informal settings, such as private households, with no access to health care services, social protection, and basic human rights.[1],[2]

The available global estimates suggest that currently 1 billion people are living as a migrant, of which women accounts for >48% of the share in both developed and developing nations.[1] These migrant women workers have often being employed in the provision of care for chronic illnesses, child care, care of differently-abled, and care for the sick individuals.[1] It is quite ironical that the workforce of migrant women workers has emerged as a group of people who are strengthening the health systems of a nation, while their own rights to health and other welfare measures are being totally ignored.[1] It is a fact that very little is known about their health indicators, quality of life, and the extent of contribution toward global public health.[1]

Some of these workers are health professionals who could not get employed in health-care institutions and thus have been forced to work in private households for less pay and have no benefits attached (viz., pension or other supportive measures).[1] Apart from that, these workers have to deal with the many challenges such as ill-defined immigration policies, exposure to various forms of abuse at the hands of the employers due to the lack of their legal status, gender inequality, poor working conditions, financial hardships, no health insurance, and different ailments (such as fatigue, hunger, and injuries), including poor reproductive and sexual health.[1],[2],[3] To deal with the existing problems, even though schemes are there in place, the governments have failed significantly to implement the same due to poor governance or negative attitude of health professionals toward migrants or even poor-insurance coverage.[1],[2],[3],[4]

Considering all these problems, there is an immense need for improving the health and well-being of these workers, and this essentially requires accumulation of evidence pertaining to the type of their work and clauses of their jobs, ensure accomplishment of universal health coverage through appropriate measures, and strengthening of the health and social care systems.[4],[5] At the same time, effective policies have to be framed for supporting the health of migrant women, especially in domestic settings.[1] The policy can advocate for promoting access to health care and child care, loosening of visa norms to allow migrant workers to be with their family members, decreasing occupational health hazards, promoting delivery of culturally appropriate and accessible health services, better housing and social protection measures, and measures to combat social exclusion, which can play an important part in improving the overall living conditions of the migrant women workers.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, migrant women workers have been exposed to a wide range of challenges and health problems, and thus, it is extremely important to take decisions at policy level to ensure that their fundamental rights are not violated.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Women on the Move – Migration, Care Work and Health. Geneva: WHO Press; 2017. p. 1-26.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Miller AS, Lin HC, Kang CB, Loh LC. Health and social needs in three migrant worker communities around la Romana, Dominican Republic, and the role of volunteers: A Thematic analysis and evaluation. J Trop Med 2016;2016:4354063.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Schmidt NC, Fargnoli V, Epiney M, Irion O. Barriers to reproductive health care for migrant women in Geneva: A qualitative study. Reprod Health 2018;15:43.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Mengesha ZB, Perz J, Dune T, Ussher J. Challenges in the provision of sexual and reproductive health care to refugee and migrant women: A Q methodological study of health professional perspectives. J Immigr Minor Health 2018;20:307-16.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming to achieve universal health coverage and improve health standards among migrant populations. MAMC J Med Sci 2017;3:113-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
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