Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The intersection of gender and race in care and domestic work

In 2007, the European Commission issued a report titled 'Tackling multiple discrimination' that examined the intersectionality of multiple forms of discrimination (based on gender, 'race'/ethnicity, class etc.). Today, EU-funded research has contributed to the debate by focusing on gender and 'race'/ethnicity biases in the United Kingdom's care-domestic labour sector.
The intersection of gender and race in care and domestic work
The project INTERSECTINGCONTRACT (Intersectional contract. Understanding the intersection of gender and "race"/ethnic inequalities in the care-domestic sector in the UK by means of racial-sexual contract analysis) combined intersectionality theory and racial-sexual contract analysis to advance the study and awareness of this particular topic. In recent years, and across all EU Member States, this labour market has undergone dramatic growth with increased participation of women with ethnic minority background.

INTERSECTINGCONTRACT conducted interviews with 10 agency owners, 10 employers and 10 migrant domestic workers. Other research activities involved an extensive literature review and gathering and analysing statistical data on care and domestic workers in the country.

The main objective was to assess the role of gender and race/ethnicity biases in the sector and to assess how care and domestic placement agencies are changing the culture of care and housekeeping in the United Kingdom, especially in London. Project work revealed the importance of considering these agencies in exploring the growth of the phenomenon and the reactions it has elicited at policy level.

Research results have been presented at several events in Australia and Europe and disseminated through various publications. Two publications are articles for peer-reviewed journals: 'Social reproduction, surplus populations and the role of migrant women' and 'Corporate care in times of crisis and austerity'. Further, INTERSECTINGCONTRACT was actively involved in organising the international conference titled Corporate Care. Migrant Labour and the Care Industry in Times of Crisis and Austerity.

Project work also made an impact amongst practitioners and activists, earning a keynote speaker invitation for the conference titled ‘Joining Forces against Human Trafficking’, held in Vienna in 2013. This was organised by the Task Force on Combating Human Trafficking on the occasion of the EU-Anti-Trafficking Day (October 18).

INTERSECTINGCONTRACT was the first study in the United Kingdom that focused on care and domestic recruitment agencies, setting a strong foundation for future research in the field of care and migration. By advancing relevant and related research and knowledge on the topic, the project has contributed to increased awareness of this phenomenon. Its activities and results should also enable policymakers to tackle it more effectively.

Related information


Gender, domestic work, intersectionality, discrimination, ethnicity, INTERSECTINGCONTRACT
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