This article is based on data collected during my PhD Fieldwork in Ethiopia with retuning domestic workers from the Middle East. My fieldwork was my first introduction to the extreme challenges women face in the Middle East and I was interested in how social networks could assist women in providing further protection. Social network theory provided a cornerstone of the theoretical component of my PhD and in this article I explore how migrating versus a weak or strong tie can assist domestic workers in having a better migration outcome in the Middle East.
This article explores how migrating via a strong or weak tie results in different outcomes for Ethiopian domestic workers in their migration to the Middle East. Few studies have examined this question. Ethiopian domestic workers are a good case for this analysis as networks are critical for providing information and support for live-in domestic workers in the Middle East. Migrating via a strong tie was expected to result in better migration outcomes. The results, however, suggested that migrating via a strong tie can provide support in some cases, but is not enough to guarantee protection to Ethiopian migrant workers in the Middle East.
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