In addition to raising the living standards of loved ones back home, remittances sent by men and women migrants can transform the way spouses, children, and communities left behind interact within the household, including changing culturally accepted roles and opportunities for men, women, boys, and girls. For women senders of remittances, ‘rising’ to become a recognised economic provider can also have positive outcomes in terms of empowerment. However, none of these positive effects can be assumed: there are multiple possible scenarios. This article primarily draws on research carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on gender and labour migration in Asia, as well as IOM research on remittances in Moldova, Egypt, Angola, and Guatemala. Whether migration and sending home remittances makes children or spouses left behind more vulnerable or presents opportunities, or a mix of both, depends on many factors, some of which are still under-researched.
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