Gender and ‘Migrating Out of Poverty’

Emotions are seen as ephemeral in nature, but they can have a huge impact on individuals as well as the communities they leave behind.

Framing Fellow Deirdre McKay studies affect among workers who migrate from the Philippines to find work elsewhere. The women are often employed in homes, caring for the children or the elderly relatives of others while their own children or elderly family members are cared for back home.

A conference coming up in Singapore focuses on the impact of such experiences on the women who leave their families behind.

migration conference

Gendered Dimensions of Migration: Material and social outcomes of South-South migration‘ is hosted at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

Facilitated by the ‘Migrating Out of Poverty’ program, the conference is designed to bring academics, activists, and policy-makers together in order “to understand how gender roles and expectations influence the factors leading to migration, male and female migrants’ different experiences of migration and its impact on migrants, their families and home communities.”

Fellow Deirdre McKay will deliver one of the keynote addresses on “international care chains, migration and multi-local families in Southeast Asia.”

From the description of her talk:

Migrants send cash and goods home. They also share flows of feeling with their multi-local families. Together, these exchanges link together sites in the Philippines with Singapore, Hong Kong and even farther afield. But migrants and their families don’t always share the same long-term goals for investment or definitions of success. By teasing apart their conflicts, it is clear that the apparent prosperity generated by migration is precarious. Failure of migration projects, migrants’ investments, and family strategies remains a very real outcome, alongside the much-lauded successes on which the Philippine economy depends. The burden of failure falls more heavily on women.

The conference includes 20 different presentations by researchers from 12 countries.

The event wraps up with two policy roundtables “which will facilitate dialogue between researchers and policy advisers, linking the latest research findings to current interventions and the lessons learned in organisations working with migrants.”

Individuals tweeting from the conference will be using the hashtag #GenderMigrates.

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