Men's Migration and Women's Lives: Views from Rural Armenia and Guatemala
Social Science Quarterly 88 (5): 1243-1262, 2007.
20 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2007
Objectives: This study seeks to comparatively assess the consequences of men’s migration for gender roles and relations in Armenia and Guatemala.
Methods: We use 29 in-depth interviews conducted with women in Guatemala and 27 interviews conducted in Armenia, complemented with field observations.
Results: Men’s migration exerts diverse effects on their wives’ lives, and these effects are mediated by the socio-cultural milieu in which the women live and by the context in which the men generate incomes. As do other studies, we find that women take on added responsibilities when their partners migrate for work, but unlike most other studies, our data do not show that these new responsibilities significantly transform women’s status and relationships.
Conclusions: On balance, the division of labor established through the husbands’ migration further reinforces gender inequality. Men’s role as breadwinners and primary decision makers is further strengthened, as is women’s subordinate position in the household.
Keywords: Armenia, Guatemala, women, non-migrants, sending countries, gender
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