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Health Studies


The economic impacts of temporary labour migration, for both migrants and host countries, often overshadow and render invisible the social consequences.

Based on three years of ethnographic research in Mexico, Jamaica and Canada, this article addresses issues of health and health care among women migrant workers in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). This temporary labour migration program annually employs some 20,000 workers from Mexico and the Caribbean in the Canadian agricultural industry.

Approximately three per cent of SAWP participants are women. In FOCALPoint’s 2007 Special Edition on Migration, Kerry Preibisch demonstrated the ways in which women’s migration is characterized by specific concerns, as they live and work in a “highly masculinized environment.” Women’s health is an especially important, yet neglected issue.


This article was originally published in FOCALPoint, 7(8): 10-11.