Second, the neoliberal policies and the needs of ‘native’ women workers are leading to an increasing influx of migrant women to carry out ‘care’ work in domestic households and in the care sector.
Finally, the framing of Muslim women/migrant women as victims in need of rescuing legitimises right wing nationalist parties and governments in making exceptions of migrant women for immigration purposes.
According to 2015 data from the International Labour Organisation, there were 53 million migrant workers worldwide of whom 21.5 million were women. This illustrates the trend towards ever greater numbers of women migrating to find work.
Some 5.2 million women and 3.6 million men worked in private households in the Middle East, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (broadly the former USSR).
There is migration internally within as well as across continents. So this is not simply a question, as argued by Ferris, of the Global South supplying ‘carers’ to the Global North. It is about the distribution of poverty and wealth internationally and the demand for labour in different economic sectors.
Governments using racism for electoral and other purposes often get caught in contradictions in relation to immigration policies, ramping up racist arguments about migrants then finding that employers want certain categories of migrants to be allowed in.
Whatever merit there might be in Ferris’s arguments, she omits the overall impact of the demonisation of Islam, which is that all Muslim women are the very real victims of racism and Islamophobia