Invisible Migrant Workers

Men have been the most visible migrants in India. However, nearly 70% of migrants in India are women. While their primary reason for migration is stated as marriage, we know many women, especially in the lower socio-economic strata, work after marriage and migration.

Many times, during research work across rural and small-town India, I have felt that migration to bigger cities is the only route to escape deeply entrenched discrimination faced by certain groups, especially women. Migration propels social mobility in India — breaking barriers of gendered roles and caste-based occupations.

There are many women migrants who have lost their livelihoods in the Covid-19 aftermath. Alongwith this is loss of their economic empowerment and status as earning members of the households. It also impacts their ability to make independent purchasing decisions. It should concern all — society, government and corporates.

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