Women, Work and Care in the Asia-Pacific: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women, Work and Care in the Asia-Pacific

1st Edition

Edited by Marian Baird, Michele Ford, Elizabeth Hill


284 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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This book provides a comparative analysis of the social, economic, industrial and migration dynamics that structure women’s paid work and unpaid care work experience in the Asia-Pacific region. Each country-focused chapter examines the formal and informal ways in which work and care are managed, the changing institutional landscape, gender relations and fertility concerns, employer and trade union responses and the challenges policy makers face and the consequences of their decisions for working women. By covering the entire region, including Australia and New Zealand, the book highlights the way different national work and care regimes are linked through migration, with wealthier countries looking to their poorer neighbours for alternative sources of labour. In addition, the book contributes to debates about the barriers to women’s participation in the workforce, the valuation of unpaid care, the gender wage gap, social protection and labour regulation for migrant workers and gender relations in developing Asia.


"The book highlights that despite significant differences in care and work regimes, barriers to women’s access to the labour market remain strong across the board. The pressure points for each country are different in accordance with their historical and cultural development, but they all point to emerging needs for change in the role of women care and work patterns."

Annick Masselot, Labour & Industry: A Journal of the Social and Economic Relations of Work

Table of Contents

1. Work/Care Regimes in the Asia-Pacific: A Feminist Framework, Elizabeth Hill, Marian Baird and Michele Ford

Part I: Familial/Informal Care Regimes

2. China: The Reconfiguring of Women, Work and Care, Minglu Chen, Jie Hao and Marian Baird

3. Malaysia: Balancing Paid and Unpaid Work, Vicki Crinis and Alifa Bandali

4. Singapore: Contradictions in the Work/Care Regime, Lenore Lyons

5. Indonesia: Middle-class Complicity and State Failure to Provide Care, Michele Ford and Nurchayati

6. The Philippines: Pressures for Change in the Work/Care Regime, Ligaya Lindio-McGovern

7. Cambodia: Managing Work and Care in a Post-Conflict Context, Kristy Ward

8. Bangladesh: Class, Precarity and the Politics of Care, Dina Siddiqi and Hasan Ashraf

9. India: Economic Inequality and Social Reproduction, Elizabeth Hill and Rajni Palriwala

10. Sri Lanka: Working Realities and Gendered Fictions, Matt Withers

Part II: Familial/Formal Care Regimes

11. Australia: The Care Challenge, Alexandra Heron, Rae Cooper and Gabrielle Meagher

12. New Zealand: Caring for Women or Women Caring? Katherine Ravenswood and Belinda Smith

Part III: Predominantly Familial Care Regimes

13. Japan: From Social Reproduction to Gender Equality, Reiko Ogawa

14. South Korea: Work, Care and the Wollstonecraft Dilemma, Joohee Lee

15. Timor-Leste: Mixed Messages on Work and Care, Michele Ford

16. Papua New Guinea: Work and Care in a Subsistence Economy, Jane Parker, James Arrowsmith and Ann Boyd

About the Editors

Marian Baird is Professor of Gender and Employment Relations and Director of the Women and Work Research Group at the University of Sydney Business School, Australia.

Michele Ford is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Elizabeth Hill is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

ASAA Women in Asia Series

The primary aim of this important series is to publish original, high quality work on all aspects of women in Asia. Submissions are welcomed from prospective authors, both new and established scholars, working in any appropriate discipline, and should in the first instance be sent to the series editor. Email: [email protected]


Editorial Board:

Hyaeweol Choi (University of Iowa)

Melissa Crouch (University of New South Wales) 

Michele Ford (The University of Sydney)

Trude Jacobsen (Northern Illinois University)

Tanya Jakimow (University of New South Wales)

Lenore Lyons (Independent scholar)

Vera Mackie (University of Wollongong)

Anne McLaren (The University of Melbourne)

Mina Roces (University of New South Wales)

Dina Siddiqi (New York University)

Andrea Whittaker (The University of Queensland)

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies