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Men Left Behind by their OFW wives is the subject on the first forum on the lives OFW husbands lead, in celebration of Women’s Month this March 7 at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.

Organized by the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS), the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment, the forum is the ILS’ latest contribution to the debates on gender and development, particularly on feminized labor migration.

The Forum entitled MEN LEFT BEHIND: The Social Costs of Feminized Labor Migration in the Philippines, looks into the unexplored angle of the social costs of migration – the men left behind.

Based on the 2009 Survey on Overseas Filipinos, there are 1.9 M Overseas Filipino Workers who are working or had worked abroad. Of these numbers, 47% are women.

“We are seeing the increase in the number of men taking care of the home with more and more women leaving to work abroad. These days our men are now confronted with the role of being provider and nurturer as well with their wives choosing a career overseas,” said Cynthia R. Cruz, Executive Director of the ILS.

Invited to speak at the forum are experts who have worked with households left behind by OFW women. They will tackle the programs they offer to help men left behind cope.

Ms. Tesiebeth Cordero of the MLAC Institute for Children and Families will share their study on OFW Househusbands and the Families they lead. Ms. Minerva Seneres, Chairperson of the OFW Family Club, will discuss their work with Men in Distress: Implications on Women Working Abroad and its Effects on Traditional Family Roles. Couples for Christ husband and wife counselors Michael and Carmela Arriola will brief participants on the Challenges of Feminized Labor Migration to Filipino Society and Families.

“Working overseas is changing family structures and gender roles. The question now on our minds is how our policies and programs at the Department can help OFWs and their families adjust to these shifts of mindsets and roles,” said Cruz.

Expected to the attend the forum are a mix of government policy and program managers, leaders from OFW organizations, employers’ groups, trade unions, civil society and international organizations.

“We hope this forum can elicit ideas for more ways we can reach out to our millions of OFWs and their families. With more women choosing to leave the country to work, this shift of career choices and reversal of roles are changing the way we see overseas work,” added Cruz.

The ILS was created in July 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 257. Since its creation the Institute has always been at the forefront of labor and employment policy research and advocacy providing strategic policy research for the Department of Labor and Employment.

Press Release
Linartes M. Viloria
Institute for Labor Studies, Department of Labor and Employment
Contact Nos.: (02) 5273490/5273452 / Fax: (02) 5273491

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