Women swell the ranks of overseas workers, Philippine labor diplomat in UAE says

“Our women know what they want, and they are courageous enough to pursue overseas work despite of its social costs,” Bay said. (AN)
Updated 09 March 2019

Women swell the ranks of overseas workers, Philippine labor diplomat in UAE says

  • Females are becoming the principle earners in Filipino households
  • The majority of Filipinos who leave for jobs oversea are women

DUBAI: Women’s freedom of movement has become more apparent today, as we see them join the global workforce and take jobs overseas, according to a Dubai-based labor diplomat from the Philippines, one of the world’s biggest sources of migrant workers – most of whom are in the Middle East.

“I think we are at a point where our women are more progressive in their decisions to work and provide for their families,” Felicitas Bay said, noting an increasing trend of women becoming principal earners in Filipino households, a role traditionally assumed by men.

Of almost half a million Filipinos who left the country for a job abroad in 2017, 72 percent are women, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, a dedicated government agency for Overseas Filipino Workers.

“Our women know what they want, and they are courageous enough to pursue overseas work despite of its social costs,” Bay said.

But female migration isn’t only rampant in the Southeast Asian country of 100 million people – it is a global phenomenon.

According to research by a UK-based think tank, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in 2015, the number of female migrants reached 118 million, or 41 percent of the entire population of international migrants, at 224 million.

The trend points to a change in the labor market in several host countries, including Gulf states, which ODI noted as having the highest growth of migrant workers.

Labor migration first saw men taking up jobs in construction and other gender-specific industries abroad, specifically in the oil-rich Gulf states, according to another report by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

But due to a slowdown in infrastructure projects in the early 1980s, the report said employment demands shifted, and women started to join the global workforce, landing jobs in the service industry.

Although the Philippine labor office in Dubai has been recording many Filipino migrants employed in diverse industries in recent years, a huge number work in the service industry.

“Men are perceived as stronger and more capable of manual labor and, as a result, are more likely to work in mining, industry, transport, trade and construction,” ODI said in a research paper, adding that men are “overrepresented in management positions.”

“By contrast, women are perceived as nurturing and are concentrated in ‘feminine’ sectors related to care (e.g. health, teaching, cleaning, cooking, service industries) or entertainment, or in factory positions that prefer workers to be ‘nimble’ or meticulous,” the paper added, citing the United Nations, the International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration.

Although this global trend could be a positive indication for women in general, it poses a challenge to home countries, especially those like the Philippines that regard women as natural “homemakers.”

But Bay said families are going to survive, pointing to technology as a vital tool for family members to remain connected, as well as welcoming a “more fluid” definition of gender roles where “everyone can be a breadwinner and a homemaker.”

US judge expected to put Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ behind bars for life

Updated 1 min 44 sec ago

US judge expected to put Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ behind bars for life

  • Joaquin Guzman was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana
  • US prosecutors have claimed that ‘El Chapo’ sold more than $12 billion worth of drugs

NEW YORK, July 17 : Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise that smuggled tons of drugs into the United States, is scheduled to be sentenced by a US judge on Wednesday in what is likely one of the last chapters in a decades-long career.
The sentencing hearing in a federal court in Brooklyn is expected to feature a statement from someone who survived a murder plot led by Guzman, prosecutors have said. The person’s name has not been made public.
Guzman, 62, was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, long known as one of Mexico’s largest and most violent drug trafficking organizations.
Prosecutors have asked US District Judge Brian Cogan to sentence him to life in prison, plus 30 years for use of firearms. Guzman’s lawyers have not disputed that a life sentence is mandatory.
Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” developed a reputation as a Robin Hood-like figure that made him a folk hero to many in his home state of Sinaloa, where he was born in a poor mountain village.
He is being held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan. Cogan last month rejected his request for more time to exercise on the jail’s roof, after prosecutors said that would risk an escape.
Before he was finally captured in 2016, Guzman twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico. He was extradited to the United States to face trial in January 2017.
Guzman made a name for himself as a trafficker in the 1980s by digging tunnels under the US-Mexico border that allowed him to smuggle drugs more quickly than any of his rivals. He amassed power during the 1990s and 2000s through often bloody wars with rivals, eventually becoming the best-known leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
His 11-week trial, which featured testimony from more than a dozen former associates of Guzman who had made deals to cooperate with prosecutors, offered the public an unprecedented look at the cartel’s inner workings.
The witnesses, who included some of Guzman’s top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organization reminiscent of a multinational corporation.
He sent drugs northward with fleets of planes and boats, and had detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted electronic communication system run through secret computer servers in Canada, witnesses said.
US prosecutors have claimed that Guzman sold more than $12 billion worth of drugs, and Forbes magazine once listed him as among the world’s richest men.
Though other top cartel figures had been extradited to the United States before, Guzman was the first to go to trial rather than pleading guilty.
Guzman often lived on the run. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001 hidden in a laundry cart and spent the following years moving from one hideout to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army.
He was seized again in 2014, but pulled off his best-known escape the following year when he disappeared into a ventilated, mile-long tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum-security prison.
He was finally recaptured in January 2016. The Mexican government says he blew his cover through a series of slipups, including an attempt to make a movie about his life.
Guzman’s lawyers have said they intend to appeal his guilty verdict. They have already asked Cogan to overturn it, citing a report that jurors disobeyed court rules by reading news reports about the case during the trial, but the judge rejected that request.
Despite Guzman’s downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel had the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels as of last year, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.