Mental stress and coping mechanisms among left behind wives of migrant husbands

Archana K. Roy, Banaras Hindu University
Praveen Nangia, Laurentian University

In developing countries like India, migration is a survival strategy, where males are forced to migrate leaving their families and wives behind in the villages. Separation from husband increases worries and consequently mental stress on women. Current paper focuses how husband’s migration affects left behind wives in terms of added workload, dependency and family adjustment, and their coping mechanism with overall situation. This paper is based on the findings of survey conducted in rural Bihar in 2001 using quantitative and qualitative methods. Illiteracy, small landholdings, long duration of migration, women’s own work status, and conflict in the family over sharing of remittances add to the mental stress of women. Since migration of husband is the ultimate option for their survival they have accepted this separation as their fate, which is essential for their survival rather than a enjoying conjugal life.

Presented in Poster Session 3: Migration, environment and spatial demography