PhD defence by Kenji Kimura

PhD student
International Institute of Social Studies
Start date

Wednesday 3 Mar 2021, 15:00

End date

Wednesday 3 Mar 2021, 16:30

This defence will take place online
International Institute of Social Studies
Spoken Language
Ticket information

Due to the coronavirus, the defence will take place online. You can follow the proceedings via ISS Livestream.

Kenji Kumura

On Wednesday 3 March 2021, Kenji Kimura defends his thesis 'Transnational Systems of Care and Women's Labour Migration: A study of Indonesian domestic workers to and in Malaysia'

Kenji Kumura's thesis builds on the ongoing debates about care in Gender and Migration Studies from the perspective of ‘care circulation’ among migrant domestic workers (MDWs).

It focuses on the system of female live-in MDWs from Indonesia to and in Malaysia, which are respectively amongst the main sending and receiving countries of MDWs in Southeast Asia. Due to the historical interactions as neighbouring countries, labour transfer has taken place through internationally recognized entry points as well as through relations that pierce through the borders. MDWs have also constructed social spaces across borders using contemporary communication technologies.

The study shows the discrepancies between the slogan of ‘One Caring and Sharing Community’, pledged by the ASEAN leaders, and current realities and the plural meanings and forms of care practiced by Indonesian MDWs. The study argues that unless the rights of MDWs are guaranteed, it is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible for Indonesian live-in MDWs to maintain not only their own security and safety in the destination country but also the quality of caring relationships with their stay-behind children, husbands and family members at home.

Doctoral board


Professor Inge Hutter

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

Professor Des Gasper


Dr Thanh Dam Truong

Members of the Full Doctoral Committee

Dr Bernadette Resurreccion, Queen’s University

Professor Mirjam van Reisen, Tilburg University

Professor Marlou Schrover, Leiden University

Professor Wil Hout

Professor Irene van Staveren