© 2017

Migration and Domestic Work

The Collective Organisation of Women and their Voices from the City


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Gaye Yilmaz, Sue Ledwith
    Pages 37-63
  3. Gaye Yilmaz, Sue Ledwith
    Pages 129-149
  4. Gaye Yilmaz, Sue Ledwith
    Pages 151-179
  5. Gaye Yilmaz, Sue Ledwith
    Pages 205-235
  6. Gaye Yilmaz, Sue Ledwith
    Pages 237-251
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 253-270

About this book


With female migrants dominating low paid and ever-expanding domestic work worldwide, this book brings together the voices of 120 migrating women from 28 different nations and 10 different religious affiliations. Together they tell how patriarchal and religious gender codes in the family and at work shape their new lives in London, Berlin and Istanbul. Through their own accounts, the study explores the intersecting multiple and gendered identities women carry from their home countries and how these are reshaped, challenged, changed, or not, as they encounter different structures, traditions and cultural codes in their new countries. With women’s propensity for collective organizing, whether via community, social movements or trade unions as a central theme, the authors also bring together issues of migration, work and identity with trade union and community organizing. Migrating Women and Domestic Work is an important source for scholars and practitioners in each of these fields.


gender religion family dynamics identity culture community social movement trade union

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Bogazici University IstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Ruskin College OxfordUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Gaye Yilmaz is a scholar in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. While her academic work focuses on political economy she has also actively taken part in the struggles of vulnerable groups such as Kurds, workers, women and LGBTI. She worked for Turkish labour unions between 1996 and 2008.  She was also one of 1128 academics who signed a petition urging the government to make peace with the Kurdish people.


Sue Ledwith is Emerita Scholar in International Labour and Trade Union Studies, Ruskin College, Oxford, UK. Also an activist, Sue has researched and published in the field of gender democracy and labour movements for 25 years, recently re-addressing this work as a longitudinal, international study in her PhD “Prospects for Gender Democracy in Labour Movements”.

Bibliographic information


“The voices and lives of migrant women domestic workers are the central pillar of this book. … The book will therefore be of great interest to both scholars of labour studies, and labour and women’s movement activists who want to know more about how the intersecting aspects of migrant women workers’ identities shape their lives.” (Fenella Porter, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 56 (2), June, 2018)