Women migration affects children left behind in Bangladesh: study, New Age reports
Children left behind by Bangladeshi female migrant workers from underprivileged areas fail to go school regularly due to different factors including their engagement in economic and households activities, according to a study report released Sunday.
It shows that about 81 per cent of the children (male and female) left behind by women migrant workers were admitted to schools but 40 per cent of the girls and 48 per cent boys don’t go to school regularly.
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Lack of motherly care causing loneliness and depression found to be another reason for not attending schools regularly.
Attitude and perception of local guardians also play a strong role in irregular school attendance by these girls and boys.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme in short OKUP conducted the yearlong study in 2019 with support from Foundation Caritas Luxembourg and Secours Catholique Caritas France under the project, ‘Socio-Economic Development of the Vulnerable Bangladeshi Migrants’.
The research covered 400 households, 250 migrant households and 150 non-migrant households in three unions—Char Horirampur, Char Bhadrason, Gazirtek.
Non-migrant households were surveyed to get the comparative picture between migrant and non-migrant households.
The study found that 80 per cent household were able to increase their expenditure capacity on better housing, nutritious food intake, access to healthcare and education of children with the remittances of women migrant workers.
But the data shows 30 per cent of local guardian consider going school regularly is not as important as helping them in household activities.
The research found that 32 per cent children left behind dropped out of schools before they became 16-year old.
This research is not representing the whole scenario of children, left behind by women migrant workers in Bangladesh. But it will help to understand about social cost of women migration, said OKUP chairman Shakirul Islam.
It will also help the government adopt the appropriate policy for the development of children, left behind by the women migrant workers, he said.
According to the findings, 70 per cent children left behind fell ill at least once in last 12 months compared to 30 per cent children from the non-migrant families.
Lack of proper care of children left behind results in their falling ill more frequently compared to those in the non-migrant households.
However, lack of knowledge about nutritious food among most of the caregivers, reluctance to change food habits due to extended and multi-generational family structure etc have effects on taking non-nutritious food.
The non-migrant families had fewer opportunities to buy and eat less nutritious food compared to migrant families.
Early marriage among the girl children left behind was found to be very common.