RETHINKING GENDER, RETHINKING MIGRATION: Putting gender into the migration-development nexus.
A micro level case study of Sri Lanka

Hewa Madihage 1, Priyanga Sanjeewanie 1
1 - Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
2016; 17 (3):
ICID: 1231707
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
Be it an indigenously or exogenously driven process, gender roles play an important part
in the mechanisms affecting changes in a society. It has been theorized that migration creates
a real challenge to the persistent patriarchal structure and gender stereotypes within
and outside the households of migrant workers in their country of origin. Otherwise using
data from an empirically designed longitudinal ethnographic research, this paper argues
that migration hardly brings out stable or enduring structural changes in the traditional
gender roles in women’s lives at the micro level. Instead, migration brings forth a set of
simultaneous interplays into gender roles. Particularly, the change in migrant women’s
roles within households is not perceived to affect the overall micro level social structure.
It is simply a partial and short-term outcome of an exogenous process. Migration-induced
changes in gender roles arbitrarily shake, strain and disrupt the existing social, cultural
and institutional foundations on the micro level. The study finds strong evidence that the
long-term impact of arbitrary changes in gender roles causes a number of micro social
issues. The consequences of these issues insidiously impair the long-term developmental
capabilities of migrant households in the country of origin.

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