Using Activity Space and GIS Space-Time Approaches to Understand the Importance of Rest Day for Female Domestic Workers

Authors: Fikriyah Winata*, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Immigration/Transnationalism, Women
Keywords: Activity space, GIS, rest day, Indonesian domestic workers, Hong Kong
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 9
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Female domestic workers (FDWs) are a highly vulnerable group due to intensive work responsibilities that limit women’s mobility within space and time constraints and demanding daily tasks that restrict their social interactions outside their employers’ homes. Previous studies of FDWs in Southeast Asian countries argued that domestic workers’ place of life is also a place where they perform work. The co-location of home and work sharply limits FDWs' personal freedom and sense of privacy. Hong Kong is the only top destination for Indonesian FDWs that obligates a rest day. Drawing on activity diaries (N = 42) collected during working and rest days, this study examines the importance of a rest day for FDWs. I generated and calculated a convex hull size of each participant. The activity path of each day was created and visualized in ArcScene. I conducted multilevel modeling to evaluate the effects of FDW characteristics on activity space size and time spent outside the workplace and to analyze differences between work and rest days. Domestic workers' activity spaces – that determined by the number of places visited, total hours being outside, and the size of the convex hull – were significantly dependent on which day they experienced, whether working or rest days. Rest day plays an important role and has a positive effect on domestic workers’ everyday lives. The findings of this research are expected to contribute to the policymaking process to improve domestic workers’ quality of life in Hong Kong and other regions worldwide.

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