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


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.



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



W 08.560.008


Dr. E.W. Bal PhD

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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