The aim of this briefing is to summarise the effects of the temporary absence of migrant men on women’s livelihoods in rural West Bengal, India, and northern Bangladesh. It discusses how temporary work migration by men often increases insecurity in women and children living in poor households, by leading to food shortages, financial pressure or ill-health. In these instances, informal social protection from kin or social relations can be instrumental in reducing and overcoming insecurity and hardship for those women who stay behind. Despite the increased risks, the temporary absence of migrant men can sometimes facilitate greater autonomy for women, allowing them to manage their own work and take decisions on household needs.
DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, Brighton, UK, 4 pp.
Briefing Paper No. 18. Staying Behind When Husbands Move: Women’s Experiences in India and Bangladesh