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Migration and empowerment: the experience of women in households in India where migration of a husband has occurred
Authors: Babita Sinha, Smita Jha, and Nalin Singh Negi
Source: Journal of Gender Studies, 21(1): 61-76; DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2012.639551
Topic(s): Household decision-making
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
Published: MAR 2012
Abstract: Women's empowerment is a major concern in the developing world and is emerging as an important indicator of the development of a society as well as the status of women. In this paper, we study empowerment of women in families which have experienced the migration of their male members. A direct relationship between migration of a husband and a woman's empowerment is difficult to establish. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile examining whether women have experienced any change in their freedoms in terms of decision making, mobility and restrictions. Our measure of women's empowerment is based mainly on three indicators, viz. their decision-making powers, restrictions placed on them and their mobility. Analysis of these three indices of women's empowerment has been achieved through multinomial logistic regression models on data from India's 2005–2006 National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3). The findings of this study show that out-migration of men has not had a significant impact on the emancipation of women. The common factors which increase the decision-making power and mobility of women and lessen the social restrictions placed on them are age, their educational attainment, marital duration, occupation and residence in urban areas.