Informations and abstract
The number of domestic helpers coming to Italy from non-EU countries is very large. They are not only responsible for housework, but also for caring for children and the elderly. Italian women are forced to delegate care work to other women, as they have increased their presence on the labour market and cannot rely on either social services or an equal division of care work with men. Care and family work is still a woman's burden. Different women, with different stories and different experiences, meet within domestic walls. Is it simply a meeting between "rich" women working away from home and "poor" women driven back into homes to perform low status tasks? Or can women open a dialogue, since they are all familiar with and suffer from the harshness, difficulties, and contradictions of the labour market? Can cultural and social aphasia about care work transform itself into the challenge of building gender solidarity? This paper attempts to answer these questions by drawing on the results of research carried out in Milan and focusing on women's productive and reproductive work in Italy, family transformation, organisation of social services, and migration from Eastern Europe and the South of the World.