Hired as a caregiver, demanded as a housewife - Becoming a migrant domestic worker in Turkey

Akalin A.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WOMENS STUDIES, vol.14, no.3, pp.209-225, 2007 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1350506807079011
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.209-225
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: No


Women from post-socialist countries started migrating to Turkey in the second half of the 1990s to work in the domestic work sector. Migrant domestics have formed their niche as live-in caregivers, due to the disinclination of the existing local labour power to work in the care sector. Yet, the employer mothers, besides asking their live-in workers to tend their children, often demand that they also do the daily chores in the home, purposely leaving the heavy cleaning to their Turkish domestics. This way, live-in migrant domestics are promoted from the status of foreign employees to fictitious family members, to eventually embody 'the ideal housewife'.