Do Rural Women Who Stay Behind Benefit from Male Out-migration? A Case Study in the Hills of Nepal

Maharjan, A. and Bauer, S. and Knerr, B. (2012) Do Rural Women Who Stay Behind Benefit from Male Out-migration? A Case Study in the Hills of Nepal. Gender Technology and Development , 16 (1). pp. 95-123.

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This article examines the impact of male out-migration on the workload and status of the women left behind in rural Nepal. The study uses primary data collected through household surveys from two districts in the mid-hills of Nepal to analyze aspects of women’s roles and responsibilities that are expected to change in the absence of male household heads. Specifically, the study focuses on the change in women’s workload, the expansion of their roles, their ownership and access to productive resources, and the part they play in household decision making. The results suggest that women have broadened and deepened their involvement in rural society as a result of male out-migration, which could lead to either the empowerment or disempowerment of women. The nature and extent of this impact was conditional on the migration pattern and the remittances received by the households. Larger remittances generally helped to reduce the physical work burden and to increase decision-making roles, thus empowering the women left behind. But low remittances had the opposite impact, and saddled them with greater physical workload.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: International migration, gender roles, empowerment, disempowerment of rural women, migration impact, mid hills of Nepal
Author Affiliation: Justus Liebig University, Project and Regional Planning, Senckenbergstrasse 3, 35390, Giessen, Germany. E-mail:
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 05:42
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2013 05:42
Official URL:

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