What is the impact of international female labour migration on the left-at-home husband and fathers in East Java, Indonesia?

Sasee Pallikadavath, Amie Kamanda, Kieron Hatton, Keppi Sukesi, Faishal Aminuddin, Henny Rosalinda

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Female international labour migration has been increasing over the past two decades. In Southeast Asia, countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka have witnessed the feminization of migration. In Indonesia for example, an estimated 80% of the individuals migrating outside of the country are women. These are countries were traditional gender roles are still undergoing transformation. Yet, the paradox of traditional societies in which the married woman leaves her husband and children behind and migrates to work and earn money has not received adequate attention in the scholarship. The aim of this paper is to examine the social and economic impact of international female labour migration of married women in Indonesia on the left-behind husbands and fathers. This research utilises quantitative and qualitative data from the project ‘What happens to the family when women migrate?’ which was funded by the British Council Institutional Links grant, a mixed-method study investigating the socio-economic impacts of female international labour migration on household members in Indonesia. The quantitative data are derived from household surveys conducted in 2015 in two village case study sites situated in East Java. Husbands of international female migrants were recruited from the household surveys and approached for the semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically using QRS NVivo. The study found that left-behind husbands undertake domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, childcare. This is in addition to working full time. While most husbands try their best to cope with the absence of their wives, other highlighted the negative impact that the migration had which in some cases led to loneliness, high levels of stress, divorce and extramarital affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
EventEuropean Population Conference 2016 - Mainz, Germany
Duration: 31 Aug 20163 Sept 2016


ConferenceEuropean Population Conference 2016
Internet address


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