An overview of female migration and its impact on family: A study of female migrants in Kerala, India

Reshmi R.S., International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Sayeed Unisa, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

In the past, the involvement of female in labour migration in India was neglected since female migration was considered as somewhat ‘associational’, occurring purely as a passive addition to the real decision making by males. But, studies have shown that in Kerala, on the whole the conditions are favourable for an increasing trend in female migration. When females migrate for employment purposes, all may not be working in organized sectors. Some of them work in unorganized sectors including domestic service also. Therefore, the situation may be far different from that of their male counter parts. Though the studies conducted on migration in Kerala provide rich information about issues of out migration, emigration; there is lack of information about the female labour migrants. The present paper, based on primary data collected from six villages of Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala, focuses on the characteristics of female migrants and the economic impact of migration on family. For the present study, four categories of migrants such as emigrants, out –migrants, return emigrants and return out-migrants are taken into consideration. The study shows that about more than 80 percent of the both current and return female migrants are international migrants and more than half of them had migrated for work related reasons. Majority of the international migrants are working as domestic workers and more than three fourth of the migrants send money to their family. A fair proportion of the migrants had bought or built a house after migration. Moreover, for majority of the cases, migration has made it possible to improve social life, educational status, health care and standard of living. In one fifth of the cases, migration has created some problems in the family such as break-up of marriages, problem in taking care of children and affected children’s education.

Presented in Poster Session 2