Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Natalie Delia Deckard
Out-migration, both national and international, has become the new normal for rural communities in Nepal, greatly impacting the demographics of many rural communities as young men are increasingly absent and villages are occupied by women, children, and the elderly who are left behind. The existing literature demonstrates that gendered migration in Nepal particularly impacts the women left behind. In Nepal specifically, migration shapes not only the positions of women in rural communities, but the ritual and practical roles of women in Nepalese culture. These changes are, above all, characterized by an increase in the burden of agricultural labor – born entirely by the women left to tend homes, children and field while men are both pushed and pulled into the global labor market. There is some evidence that male out-migration has resulted in greater roles and decision making for women in the public sphere, but due to the traditional patriarchal social structure women are still subject to male domination in key decision-making and labor market participation despite male out-migration. Research shows that gender inequality in Nepal is affected by gendered streams of migration, but how has removing men worked to change relationships between genders – and with poverty?