International migration is a global phenomenon that potentially affects not only the lives of migrants, but also the lives of people connected with them, in particular family left behind in the countries of origin. Most of researches mainly focus on the impact of migration on left-behind older parents and children, while migrants’ wives who usually take care of older persons and children have been overlooked. This study proposes to understand the effects of husband’s migration on wives’ decision-making autonomy and wellbeing, whether migration-related factors facilitate or constrain changes in economic, household decision-making power and wellbeing. The study setting is Magway region where young adult male migrants are predominantly going overseas due to poverty. The study hypothesizes that the absence of husband due to international migration leads to changes in the roles, decision-making power and wellbeing of left-behind wives. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 22 villages of Pakkoku district, Magway region, using multi-stage random sampling method. The study sample includes 205 migrant’s wives and 196 non-migrant’s wives. The preliminary results mainly focus on descriptive statistics of background characteristics of the study sample as well as women’s autonomy and wellbeing comparing between the wives of migrants and of non-migrants. The comparison is also conducted among the wives of migrants only between before and after their husband’s migration. Initial findings suggest that the decision-making autonomy of migrant wives is higher compare to non-migrant wives. Among the migrants’ wives, their decision making autonomy increases after their husbands left. In addition, the socio-economic characteristic among migrant households is better after husband’s international migration. There is no significant difference in psychological wellbeing between wives of migrants and of non-migrant husbands, however.
Moderator: Mrs. Yamin Aung
December 27, 2017 Time: 12:30 – 13:30 hrs. Room Srabua (109)