The Effect of Husbands' Labor Migration on Wives and Traditional Gender Roles in Tajikistan and Zambia
Mukupa, Grace C
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Globalization has added to the growth of labor migration as a source of income for wives and families left behind in developing countries. The impact on wives left behind by working husbands requires further investigation in order to produce the best practices to combat the social and familial issues with which women are faced. My understanding was influenced by many stereotypes and reports from existing literature and was based on an outsider looking into the impact on women in Zambia, but I found there was no data or voices of those women involved. The purpose of this dissertation is to study the phenomenon of male labor migration and identify the most effective coping strategies used by women in developing countries who are being left by husbands--the breadwinners migrating to find jobs. This dissertation analyzes this rapidly growing problem using case studies of two developing countries: Tajikistan located in Central Asia and Zambia in Southern Africa. In this dissertation, I define male labor migration as "husbands leaving their families to secure employment necessary for family survival." I analyzed coping strategies undertaken by many wives and their children by placing the main issues into three categories: (a) education; (b) gender roles; and (c) food security. The primary data were collected in Tajikistan and Zambia during qualitative study and ethnographic observation over approximately two years. Furthermore, this study used secondary data available from various agencies by the women left behind with comprehension of the difficulties faced and their resilience to negative impacts.