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04 Sep 2020

MRS No. 65 - Stigma and empowerment: A qualitative study on Nepalese women and labour migration

Authored by Niva Shrestha, Joelle Mak and Cathy Zimmerman, this Migration Research Series paper explores the concepts of stigma and empowerment through the perceptions and experiences of 55 prospective Nepalese women labour migrants. The results of this qualitative study show that migration can empower women labour migrants gaining access to human and economic resources, by exercising agency through decision-making and, through this, achieving self-worth. But the associated stigma also disempowers them with experiences they face from themselves, their families, communities and the institutions around them. To foster the positive aspects of labour migration of women, interventions are needed to challenge the social and cultural structures that perpetuate gender inequalities and lead to stigmatization of migrant women.