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From Farmers’ Daughters to Foreign Wives: Marriage, Migration and Gender in the Sending Communities of Vietnam

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Chapter Summary

Since the mid-1990s, increasing numbers of young Vietnamese women have married internationally, left Vietnam, and migrated to their foreign husbands' country of residence. This chapter explores the significance of this recent migration for gender issues in the marriage migrants' communities of origin. Many studies on sending areas of Asia focus on the impact of male or female labour migration on migrants themselves and on household members "left-behind". The chapter examines a migration flow with characteristics which are different from labour migration: most migrants are young women in their late teens and early twenties who become permanent residents of their destination countries after migrating. Overall, the "gender balance sheet" of marriage migration on sending communities results in positive changes in gendered power relations for young women and negative changes for young men. This leads to argue that marriage migration has the power to reconfigure gender in sending localities.

Keywords: gender; labour migration; marriage migration; sending communities; Vietnamese women



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