Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: A triple case-study of young female migrants (YFMs) in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Popular title: Migration, livelihoods and SRHR: Young female migrants in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Coordinator of the project: Dr Ellen Bal, VU University, Department of Anthropology

Consortium members:

  • Dr Ainoon Naher, Jahangir Nagar University, Department of Anthropology
  • Dr Lorraine Nencel, VU University, Department of Sociology
  • Dr Meghna Guhathakurta, Research Initiatives Bangladesh
  • Sanjeeb Drong, IPDS, Dhaka
  • Mohammad Tofazzal Hossain, President, BSSF/Md Sohrab Ali, Programme Coordinator
  • Habib Rahman, HARC, Dhaka

Popular summary

Over the past two decades, Bangladesh has experienced a rapid social and economic transformation coinciding with a high rate of urban-rural migration. An increasing number of labor migrants are women. Young female labor migrants (YFMs) have transgressed traditional gender roles by becoming increasingly mobile, independent and present in public spaces. This project addresses the sexual and reproductive health of three highly vulnerable groups of YFMs in Dhaka: 1) ready-made garment workers, 2) Garo beauty parlor workers, and 3) hotel- and residence-based sex workers. It aims to obtain a better understanding of their knowledge, needs and desires regarding their SRH, and their (in)ability to claim their SRH rights. It looks at how their migrant position and income activities influence their self-determination and sexual autonomy while living and working in the urban context. It approaches SRHR as grounded and contextualized in their daily lives. The research uses a variety of qualitative methods, including participatory action research and smartphone ethnography. The project has a highly collaborative nature between academics, local organizations and members of our research groups. Research outcomes including a documentary and interactive clips will provide insights and recommendations for improving policies, programs and projects oriented to these specific groups of YFMs.

Summary

Over the past two decades, Bangladesh has experienced a rapid social and economic transformation. These developments have coincided with a high rate of urban?rural migration. An increasing number of labour migrants are women. New forms of gendered mobilities have challenged traditional forms of sexual identity formation and practices. Whereas women were excluded from the labour market through hegemonic notions like purdah, young female labour migrants (YFMs) have transgressed traditional gender roles by becoming increasingly mobile, independent and present in public spaces. This project addresses the sexual and reproductive health of three groups of highly vulnerable YFMs in Dhaka. It aims to obtain a better understanding of their knowledge, needs and desires regarding their SRH, and their (in)ability to claim their SRH rights. The project focuses on three groups of YFMs in Dhaka: 1) ready-made garment workers, 2) Garo beauty parlour workers, and 3) female hotel- and residence-based sex workers. It will look at how self-determination and sexual autonomy of young (unmarried) women living and working in the urban context are enhanced or obstructed through their migrant positions and income-generating activities. It approaches SRHR as grounded and contextualized in the daily lives of these women and uses an array of qualitative methods to reach its goals. The project has a highly collaborative nature between academics, local organizations and members of the research group. Research outcomes including a documentary and short informative clips will provide insights and recommendations for improving policies, programs and projects oriented to these specific groups of YFMs.

Products

Publical information

  • E.W. Bal(2016): Programme kick-off workshop
  • L. Nencel(2016): Kick-off workshop Dhaka 2016
  • R. Laila(2016): powerpoint presentation kick-off workshop Amsterdam
  • S. Begum(2017): PAR training, 1-5 Feb, 2017
  • A. Naher(2017): presentation day 2 ethnographic research
  • A. Drong(2017): internal report SRHR beauty parlour workers
  • A. Naher(2017): workshop on ethnographic research, Dhaka, 29-30 January 2017
  • A. Naher(2017): Lecture notes ethnographic workshop Dhaka
  • E.W. Bal(2017): Paper abstracts

Details

Project number

W 08.560.008

Main applicant

Dr. E.W. Bal PhD

Affiliated with

NWO-SRHR

Team members

Dr. E.W. Bal PhD, L. Bansal, S. Drong, M. Guhathakurt, H.J. Jahan, Dr. R.L. Laila, A. Naher PhD, Dr. L.S. Nencel PhD, K.R. Sinha-Kerkhoff