Migration as a Disaster Recovery Strategy in Post-Earthquake Nepal: Challenges and Vulnerabilities for Young Women Migrants
November 2016 (VOL. 34, NO. 3)
Foreign labor migration has been an historically common livelihood strategy for young Nepali men. Increasingly, young women have migrated abroad for work as well in spite of a number of gender discriminatory migration laws that limit women’s access to legal labor migration channels. To what extent out-migration will be employed by women as a livelihood strategy in the post-earthquake context remains to be seen. This paper focuses specifically on young women’s migration decision-making in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 April/May earthquakes. Using survey data collected from two districts in July 2015 – one severely earthquake-affected district and one less-affected district – the research is guided by a vulnerabilities approach to disasters. This paper considers how the April/May earthquakes have affected young women migrants’ decision-making processes around future migration as a livelihood strategy and how the earthquake may have a synergistic affect with existing gender discriminatory migration and citizenship laws and local systems of social stratification to exacerbate and multiply women labor migrants’ vulnerabilities.