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Abstract

Women’s employment in the global market now has been increasing as a result of globalization and internationalization of labour. This study has two main objectives in its attempt to analyze the relations of gender, the global market, and health in the workplace. First, the article tries to elucidate the structural content of work as seen in the work organization; and second, to elaborate the ideological content of work as defined by ideologies of the organization, of the state and of the market production system. The study used quantitative methodology through surveys of 630 women workers in 23 establishments, as well as qualitative methodology using 10 interviews and focus group discussions. The study showed that assembly line work was also reported to be boring, fast-paced and requires upskilling regularly. Most of the respondents (76.3%) did overtime work. Quantitative overload was significantly related to a number of symptoms of psychological health issues such as poor work motivation, low self-esteem, absenteeism, and tardiness. Women workers were exposed to heat (58%), intoxicating odors (42.8%), noise (33%), and other hazards at work. The more work specific health problems of the women were body aches (73.5%), eye problems (36.5%) and urinary tract infection (32.1%). The study showed that ill health under a global economy results from the impact of measures designed to enhance the profitability of capital- from shiftwork, overtime, apprenticeship, homeworking, subcontracting, teleworking, part-time work, and piece-rate work exposure to dangerous chemicals, industrial injuries, stress, or a damaged and polluted environment. This study tried to develop additional theorizing on the relations of women, global market and health using health sociology and medical anthropology.

Note on the Author

Jinky Leilanie Lu, Research Professor 1, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila

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