RHACEL SALAZAR PARREÑAS is a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California. Her current research examines the unfree labor of migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
In homes across Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, female migrant laborers are doing the difficult work of child and elder care. But these women often leave behind children of their own in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California, describes how the lack of legal protections for domestic laborers has made it more challenging for women to be present in their children’s lives.