The Pains of Labour: How the Commodification of Nursing is Costing the Lives of Mothers in the Philippines
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The Philippines, as the largest exporter of nurses, faces challenges in its own maternal health needs. The Philippines has enormous capacity to train nurses, yet few ever care for maternal health needs in domestic communities where they are critically needed. This thesis asks how can the “Right to Development” be applied to the capacity building and retention of Filipino nurses? Could this approach morally justify the reorientation of health sector priorities to improve maternal health outcomes in the Philippines? Export-oriented nurse training leaves pressing maternal health needs unattended and weakens capacity. By applying the framework of the “Right to Development”, this thesis demonstrates how exporting nurses negatively impacts the quality of health care in the Philippines. This thesis argues that the political choice to export nurses without ensuring safe conditions for compatriots is structural violence against poor women in the Philippines by favoring economic development over the right to development.