Title

Southeast Asian women, migration, and HIV vulnerability

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

2002 global statistics show that over 95% of people infected with HIV/AIDS reside in the developing world. While in the past the majority of the infected lived in Africa, experts have predicted that Asia will be the next trouble spot. An increasing number of people, in particular young people and women, are getting infected daily in countries that largely lack economic resources to deal with the pandemic. Yet, despite this serious threat to human security and development, HIV/AIDS is not much talked about in Asian societies. Within the last decade, not only has HIV/AIDS crossed borders, but so have increasing numbers of people. In Southeast Asia, original waves of migrants were stimulated by economic growth in labour-deficient newly industrialized countries such as Singapore and South Korea. Migrants were needed to take up the dirty and dangerous jobs. The number of female migrants stunningly outnumbers the number of migrating men and there has been a noticeable feminization of migration and feminization of poverty since the late 1980's. The aim of this study is to explore the linkages between HIV vulnerability and the migration of women in Southeast Asia. Sub-questions ask if female migration interlinks with globalization, and which linkages carry the heaviest weight. Research was primarily based on extensive literature review. The accuracy of the literature review was then tested by interviewing migrants in Singapore and by distributing an electronic questionnaire to development professionals in the region. Findings indicated thirty-seven linkages, which can be clustered into seven broad categories, thus allowing for both a bird's eye and a micro-view. Integrating contemporary conflict transformation concepts, I propose the development of a new gender-sensitive and long-term research paradigm for HIV/AIDS, a paradigm that can move beyond short-term crisis management. It is my hope that this new conceptual framework can help HIV/AIDS professionals in S.E. Asia.

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