Gendering migration: how straightforward is it?

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Drawing on the narratives of women and men who have domestic or international migration experience, a team of researchers in Viet Nam have explored the ‘gendered impact’ of migration on small-scale farming in rural Ha Tinh Province.

‘We investigated both men’s and women’s migration experience, their influence on agricultural production, and gendered impact on their livelihoods after migration,’ said Nozomi Kawarazuka, lead author of the research study, published in the journal Critical Asian Studies on 8 September 2020, a gender specialist and researcher with the International Potato Center. ‘The findings show that households use various strategies to sustain agricultural production in the absence of some members. Women’s increased economic independence through labour migration has not necessarily lead to their increased management roles in agriculture but they are increasingly challenging the stereotypical images of rural women.’

For men, while migration can be a catalyst that transforms their livelihoods, it can also widen gaps in social and economic statuses among their fellows.

Other research on labour migration suggest that male migration may lead to increased burdens at home for women and reduced agricultural productivity.

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