Eastern European countries provided a major workforce for the Occident. Most of them are women

Roxana Anton

According to the Italian author Marco Balzano, in the last 30 years, 2/3 of the planet's immigrants are women, not men. Even though immigration is still considered to be a "masculine" process. (source: Marco Balzano's post notes to his last novel, "Quando tornerò" - "When I come back", Einaudi Editoree, Italy)

In 2015-2016, Romania’s emigrant population was the fifth largest in the world and growing, according to a European report.

That was already happening, when there was no war going on in the near country, Ukraine.

As more Romanians moved to EU countries, the country’s population fell from 22.4 million in 2000 to 19.5 million in 2018, turning emigration into a major social and economic phenomenon for Romania. (source: https://business-review.eu/)

The Italian author Marco Balzano mentions a social and historical fact: Occidental societies have reached a level of well-being and technology, where they don't need strong masculine arms, as much as healthcare. And, it is traditionally considered, that women are the ones who nurture and provide health and care to the weak.

Older people, sick people, and those with several health issues, all seek help, providing more and more opportunities to women in Central and Eastern Europe, especially those left without a job, coming from poor areas.

Women who want to change their lives, have debts to pay, are coming from broken marriages, and with kids to support in school, might be forced or tempted to provide healthcare to old and sick people in Western Europe.

Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine, for instance, are Eastern and Central European countries that provide healthcare to countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Great Britain, and so on.

Many times, the reality is not easy, as these women can face the lack of a legal contract or low salaries. Other times, they can be lucky enough to find better conditions and support.

In his latest novel, Marco Balzano shows how hard it is, for an Eastern European mother, to leave her home and go into the unknown, where she doesn't know almost anyone, doesn't speak the language, and has to do a job she has probably never done before.

Often, the caregiver lady must spend her entire day (24 hours) inside the house, day and night watching the old man or old woman (sometimes, she might be taking care of two or more).

Even if she has a couple of hours a day of her own and a free Sunday, she still spends all of her life taking care of old, sick people, kids, or other weak categories.

Many of them, also, have superficial, unstable, or difficult relationships with men in those foreign countries. They are a vulnerable category, and it is easier to be taken for granted.

What happens in the end, is that these women develop mental health issues.

In Romania for instance, there is a syndrome that psychologists try to cure, it's called the "Italy syndrome" ("syndrome Italia" o "Mal d'Italia"). (source: Marco Balzano's post notes to his last novel, "Quando tornerò" - "When I come back", Einaudi Editoree, Italy)

Let us not underestimate the work of these women in any circumstances.

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