The other side of migration in rural Nepal: sociocultural transformation and the women left behind

H.N. Gartaula

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


This study examines the relationship between male labour out-migration and the process of sociocultural transformation in the places of origin. Taking an example from Nepal, it shows that male labour out-migration has increased women’s partici­pation in agriculture, more significantly so in those cases where the left-behind women are de-facto household heads than in cases where they live with in-laws. Similarly, in the case of ­­de-facto female heads of households, women’s role in agricultural decision-making has increased. Women, who in the absence of their husbands live with their in-laws, continue to remain under patriarchal control, not by their husbands but by their father-in-law and elder brothers-in-law. Women who are de-facto heads of the households can exercise more autonomy in decision-making and have more control over their own mobility. Hence, the effects of male out-migration on women’s participation in agricultural work and decision-making are also conti­ngent upon the domestic arrangement in which they find themselves.


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Niehof, Anke, Promotor
  • Visser, Leontine, Co-promotor
Award date6 Dec 2011
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789461730329
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2011


  • social issues
  • labour mobility
  • occupational mobility
  • rural communities
  • nepal
  • migration
  • emancipation of women
  • land use
  • food security
  • agricultural households
  • households
  • livelihoods
  • rural women
  • women
  • asia


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