Glimpses of Women Lives in Rural Bihar: Impact of Male Migration

Author : Amrita Datta, Sunil Kumar Mishra | 2011
Published By: The Indian Journal of Labour Economics

Bihar has a rich history of out-migration from the state, which goes back to as early as the nineteenth century. However, during the last few decades, migration for work has increased manifold. The sheer scale of out-migration in contemporary Bihar is astounding. At any given point of time, as many as nearly one-half of the total number of working men are absent from the state, as they are working elsewhere in urban and rural centres in the country and abroad. Migration from the state is almost exclusively that of the male population and is embedded in the lives and life choices of the people. It is not just a livelihood strategy but a way of life in rural Bihar. While there is considerable research on various aspects of migration including the nature and pattern of migration from Bihar, the profile of migrant workers, migration destinations and other such correlates of a migrant's life outside the village, there is sparse literature on the impact of this migration on people, especially on the women who are left behind in the village. Many research questions remain unanswered. How are institutions such as patriarchy in the village affected by male migration? How does male migration influence women's well-being and agency? Does migration have an effect on women's mobility? Does it empower or disempower the women who are left behind? What role does technology such as mobile phones play in enabling those left behind to communicate with their migrant family members? What impact does this have on the women left behind in the villages?

URL : 091116091723.pdf

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