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Migration, Muslim Women, and Social Reproduction of Gender Inequality: International Migration and Social Remittances in Gender Relations in Bangladesh

Migration, Muslim Women, and Social Reproduction of Gender Inequality: International Migration and Social Remittances in Gender Relations in Bangladesh
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Author(s): Ishret Binte Wahid (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK) and Mohammed Kamaruzzaman (BRAC, Bangladesh)
Copyright: 2019
Pages: 20
Source title: Gender and Diversity: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6912-1.ch055

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Abstract

Does international migration have a role to reproduce unequal gender relation in a patriarchal society? How does it make such role? How does it further implicate people's religious as well as cultural practices? These are the questions have been addressed in this paper. It takes the case of Bangladesh, a South Asian Muslim-majority country with millions of international labour migrants to different Middle East and Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. This international migration makes very positive financial contributions to the migrants and their families at origins, mostly in rural villages. The paper makes it focus on social outcomes, especially on household level gender relations with such migration. Taking up the idea of ‘social remittances', it argues that these migrants, mostly men, experience with a range of ‘Islamic' norms and practices in destinations, and send back those to origins for religious obligations. These norms and practices largely include discouraging female household members, especially wives, to earn or go outside without purdah in line with the perceived ‘Islam'. The paper explains that such ‘social remittances' encourage the female household members to be ‘good' Muslim women along with the reproduction of gender inequality between women and men.

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