Principal Investigator: Catherine Locke. Lead Organisation: University of East Anglia
The reproductive dimensions of rapidly increasing rural-urban migration and its linkages with changes in wellbeing have been rather poorly understood. However serious concerns are emerging with respect to the impact of migration on marriage, child-bearing and child-rearing strategies. These are significant for maternal and child health, for parenting and child development, and because they will profoundly shape the gendered outcomes of new opportunities. The way that migrants manage their reproductive lives is integral to thinking about what economic migration means for poor people.
This study focuses on the strategies of low-income rural-urban migrants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. It will collect 80 life histories from men and women experiencing their peak child-bearing and early child-rearing years including: those living with their spouse; those whose spouse has been ‘left-behind’ in the rural area; those whose spouse is migrating elsewhere; and those who are separated or are single parents. The life histories will focus on their varied reproductive strategies, migratory and work experiences, and wellbeing over time. In doing so, the study seeks to understand economic migrants and the gendered problems they face not just as mobile workers but as husbands or wives and fathers or mothers too.