Women in the Philippines, and eldest daughters (ates) in particular, are customarily expected to serve as breadwinners for their families, both immediate and extended. In a country where divorce is illegal and birth control is controversial, too many Filipinas find themselves with a larger network of people to support. Whereas in the past, these “responsible women” would have had to leave the country as migrant workers, call centers offer them a new opportunity to stay at home. Working as a call center agent, in other words, represents a sustainable solution to the dilemma of breadwinning. As a case study of Hannah, a breadwinner, illustrates, these jobs are lifelines.
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