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Title: Final technical report of the project on gender and migration : negotiating rights; a women’s movement perspective
Authors: Agnihotri, Indu
Mazumdar, Indrani
Neetha, N.
Devi Mohan, Taneesha
Chaudhry, Shruti
Pillai, Nandan
Keywords: INDIA
Date: 18-Jun-2012
Publisher: Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi, IN
Abstract: The new knowledge on the experience of women and internal migration in India that has been generated by this research project covers a vast terrain. A consultation process across seven regions has generated a rich resource of papers/presentations that map the gendered migration patterns in different parts of India. The project has devised a new method for assessing women’s work/employment situation in the country through separation of paid and unpaid work in the official macro-data, which has in turn allowed for a construction of a picture of female labour migration, that was hitherto camouflaged by the dominance of marriage migration in the official data. A meso-level survey covering more than 5000 migrants and their households across 20 states in India has demonstrated that migration has led to the concentration of women in a relatively narrow range of occupations/industries. Diversification of employment through migration is more visible among men in comparison to women. The project has drawn out the links between increased levels of migration for marriage with the expansion of the practice of village exogamy and the devaluation of traditional forms of women’s work and the expansion of dowry. Notes based on extensive field work cover experiences and developments in short term seasonal agricultural migration in West Bengal, circular migration of a longer duration by tribal families from Orissa for brick kilns in Andhra Pradesh, Circulating and tribal migration in male female pairs for sugarcane harvesting in western and southern India, migration by adolescent girls from Rajasthan to Gujarat for modern contract farming in cottonseed production, crisis based migration by erstwhile weavers from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, medium term migration of domestic workers from Jharkhand to Delhi, and of young women from Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to textile product factories, etc. At another level, the Project investigated the emerging phenomenon of cross region long distance marriage to explore the factors determining movement of young brides to distant and different cultural regions and the issues arising thereof. The research has shown how migrant women workers are excluded from a range of citizenship rights, as migrant workers, as migrant women and as migrating citizens. Apart from engaging with the legal rights regime and particularly the shift from universal rights to so called targeting of those officially declared as living below the poverty line, the project raises several questions and dilemmas for policy. These include the complex gendered experiences of labour processes and recruitment of migrant women wage workers in units of families or male female pairs that do not fit easily into the individual based labour law regime. Corporate led high growth in services and industry has not generated commensurate employment growth, and agriculture remains the majority employer. Lineages of bondage linked to a ubiquitous contractor based recruitment and management pattern that can be traced to colonial times appear in modified form in migration to even the modern industrial segment of the contemporary economy.
Project Number: 103978
Project Title: Gender and Migration : a Women's Movement Perspective on Negotiating Rights (India)
Access: Open Access
License: MGC signed post January 2008 - author/owner is recipient who signed the MGC; copyright statement required on document
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