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Title:Impact of male emigration on the status of left-behind women: A case study of a Pakistani village
Author(s):Malik, Khalida Shahnaz
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sofranko, Andrew J.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:This study focuses on several migration-related factors which facilitate or constrain changes in decision-making power, activity patterns, and attitudes of women whose husbands emigrated to the Middle East. The three important factors for the study of the "left-behind" women were: husband's absence and its duration; the extent of migrant's contact with his home; and the type of family system in which the wife resides. The study's hypotheses were: (a) migrant status and duration of husband's stay abroad have a positive relationship with women's decision-making power; (b) the level of contact between husbands and left-behind wives, as well as the extended family system, have negative relationships with women's decision-making power; (c) duration of husbands' absence from households has a positive effect on women's attitudes; and (d) left-behind women perform more non-traditional and less strenuous activities than women in non-migrant households.
A survey was conducted in a village in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Interviews were conducted with women in 184 households--134 migrant and 50 non-migrant. The results show that migration itself, and longer durations of absence of husbands from the households, increase the number of decisions women make. However, there are no effects of greater contact of husbands with their left-behind wives on their decision-making power. Women who live in nuclear families make more decisions than women in extended families. Women whose husbands own property have a greater say in household decisions. The longer the duration of absence of husbands from the households, the more likely it is that women will be residing in female-headed households.
The results indicate that education is an important determinant of modern attitudes, while migration and longer duration of husbands' stay abroad have no appreciable effect on women's attitudes. The extended family has a negative association with women's modern attitudes related to gender issues. Migration has not affected women's daily activity pattern, but a higher proportion of left-behind women are involved in activities which require their going outside the homes. However, women are not involved in outside jobs or income generating activities, nor are they actively involved in agriculture-related tasks.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Malik, Khalida Shahnaz
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9411702
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9411702

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