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In spite of the increase in transnational codes of conduct and legal mobilisation of labour, despotic labour regimes in China are still prevalent. Globalisation and ‘race to the bottom’ production strategies adopted by transnational corporations militate against the improvement of labour relations in China. The goal of this study is to provide a framework for understanding the working conditions of female migrant workers. While the inhumane working conditions of the women workers have been repeatedly observed, none of the existing studies has provided a solid analysis of the precarious employment system in China. This article aims to span global factors as well as local elements, demonstrating how they each contribute to precarious employment patterns. The hidden costs of the production and reproduction cycles are still unknown.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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