Negotiated identities: Male migration and left-behind wives in India

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of husbands’ migration on the lives of women left behind. Using data from the India Human Development Survey 2005, we focus on two dimensions of women’s lives: women’s autonomy and control over their lives; and women’s labour force participation. Results suggest that household structure forms the key mediating factor through which husbands’ absence affects women. Women not residing in extended families are faced with both higher levels of responsibilities and greater autonomy, while women who live in extended households do not experience these demands or benefits.

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Correspondence to Sonalde Desai.

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Desai, S., Banerji, M. Negotiated identities: Male migration and left-behind wives in India. Journal of Population Research 25, 337–355 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03033894

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Keywords

  • migration
  • India
  • gender
  • family structure
  • IHDS
  • internal migration
  • consequences of migration
  • womens labour force participation
  • womens autonomy
  • womens mobility
  • intra-household decisions