Women and Migration in South Asia
– Health and Social Consequences

A workshop on ”Women and migration in South Asia – Health and Social Consequences” was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka 9–11 February 2009. The workshop was jointly organised by SASNET, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (SJP) in Colombo, and the Division of International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University.

The workshop with invited speakers from the South Asia region and from Swedish institutions focused on the consequences of migration for women, their children and families in South Asia. The themes to be covered were the effects of such migration with respect to:
     – social consequences
     – gender perspective
     – economy at family level
     – health including sexually transmitted diseases
     – child development and psychology

The workshop was the first effort to realise the concept of SASNET sub-networks, put forward at the informal meeting by SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group held in Delhi in November 2007 (more information), later decided upon by SASNET’s board.
One of the reference group members, Dr. Kumudu Wijewardena from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (SJP) in Colombo will chair the Colombo workshop along with Prof. Gunilla Lindmark from the Division of International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University.

Venue: Fingara Town and Country Club, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka


Monday 9 February 2008:

          8.30 to 9.00 – Registration

          9.00 to 9.45 – Inauguration

                                 Welcome Address
                                  Professor KumuduWijewardana
                                  Dean, Faculty of Graduate studies,
                                  University of Sri Jayewardenepura

                                 Address by Prof. Jayantha

                                 Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences,
                                  University of Sri Jayewardenepura

                                 Address by Dr. N.L.A. Karunarathna
                                 Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura

                                 Introduction of theme of the workshop
Professor Gunilla Lindmark, IMCH, University of Uppsala, Sweden
Mr. Lars Eklund, Deputy director, SASNET, Lund University, Sweden

          9.45 to 10.15 – Effect of migration in Sri Lanka
                                 Speaker: Mr. Ruhunage                                                                                                                                               Acting Additional General Manager
                                 Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment

          10.15 to 10.30 – Tea

                           Chair Person - Professor Gunilla Lindmark

          10.30 to 11.15 – Key note address: Migration, Mobility and Development – Rhetoric: Another Feminist Dilemma?
                                     Dr. Devika, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, India

          11.15 to 12.00 – Problems of migrated women construction workers in Chennai
                                     Professor V.Balambal, Professor of History, University of Madras, India

          12.00 to 12.45 – Key note address: Challenges to Combat Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal
                                     Dr. Tek Nath Dhakal, Associate Professor, Dept. of Public Administration,
                                                                                           Tribhuvan University, Katmandu, Nepal

          12.45 to 1.30  – Lunch

                             Chair Person – Professor V. Balambal

          1.30 to 2.15 – South Asian women on the Move: Health
                                  Outcomes and Family Predicaments
                                  Dr. Rita Afsar, Senior research fellow,
                                  Bangladesh Institute for Development
                                  Studies (BIDS),  Dhaka, Bangladesh

          2.15 to 3.00 – Introduction to SASNET by
                                 Dr. Anna Lindberg
, Director/Coordinator

          3.00 to 3.15 – Tea

                             Chair person Dr. Mohsin Saeed Khan
          3.15 to 4.00 – Islamisation, Modernisation, or Globalisation? Changed Gender Relations among South Indian Muslims
                                     Dr. Anna Lindberg, Director/Coordinator, SASNET, University of Lund, Sweden

          4.00 to 4.30 – Discussion

Tuesday 10 February 2009:

                             Chair Person – Dr. Anna Lindberg

          9.00 to 9.30  – Key note address: Poverty, Missed opportunities and Men –
                                                               The driving forces behind coercion of women                                                                   
                                     Dr. Mohsin Saeed Khan, Public Health Specialist, Islamabad, Pakistan

         9.30 to 10.00  – Reproductive health Risks for Women in Migration
                                     Dr. Birgitta Essén, Associate Professor, Senior lecturer in International Maternal Health, IMCH,
                                                                                                                                          Uppsala University, Sweden

         10.00 to 10.20 – Ethnic conflict, migration and social consequences: A study of women in Nalbari district of Assam
                                    Sanghamitra Choudhury, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance,
                                                                                                                 Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

          10.20 to 10.40 – Translating Evidence in to policy decision: skill development on Sexual Health Promotion among overseas
                                     bound prospective female domestic migrant workers and spouses.
                                     Dr Janaki Vidanapathirana, National STD, AIDS Control Programme, Sri Lanka

         10.40 to 11.00 – Tea

                        Chair Person – Dr. Birgitta Essen

         11.00 to 11.30 – Effect of internal migration in Sri Lanka
                                    Dr. Pia Olsson, Researcher, International Maternal and Child Health, Department of Women’s and                                                                                                                 Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Sweden

         11.30 to 11.45 – Effect of migration on children
                                    Dr. Chandana Hewage, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences,
                                                                                                                   University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka

         11.45 to 12.15 – Children left behind. A study on children of migrant women in Sri Lanka
                                    Dr. Aida Lagergren, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Economic Geography,
                                                                                                                                          Uppsala University, Sweden

         12.15 to 12.45 – Discussion

         12.45 to 1.30   – Lunch

                       Chair Person - Dr. Devika

         1.30 to 2.15   – Indian Nurses: Changing Terms of Labour and Care
                                 Dr. Sreelekha Nair, Centre for Women's Development Studies, Delhi, India

         2.15 to 3.00 – Pain of Migration reflected in Tribal Folk Songs
                                Dr. Mirja Juntunen, Nordic Centre in India (NCI), Uppsala University

         3.00 to 3.15 – Tea

                      Chair Person – Mr. Lars Eklund

         3.15 to 4.00 – Bhojpuri folksongs wailing migrating workers (Folk songs sung in the rural north India by women
                                about their menfolk  leaving village as migrants to the industrialized areas and later on to sugar plantation                                 colonies in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century)
                                Professor Deepak Malik, Faculty of Commerce, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

          4.00 to 5.00 – Discussion

          6.00 to 8.00 – SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group business meeting

Wednesday 11 February 2009:

         8.30 to 11.30 – ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
                                  Exported and Exposed: Abuses against Sri Lankan Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
                                  Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates
                                  Chaired by Dr. Rita Afsar, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka, Bangladesh

          11.30 to 11.45 – Concluding remarks – Prof. Kumudu Wijewardana,
                                     Dean of the Faculty of Graduate studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

                                 – Closure of the workshop

          3.30 to 5.00 – Public Lecture at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura
                                 “Gandhi and Women”
                                    by Professor Deepak Malik, Faculty of Commerce, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

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Phone: +46 46 222 73 40
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Last updated 2009-02-19