Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha


Patel, Amrita and Jasmine Giri. 2019. "Climate Change, Migration and Women: Analysing Construction Workers in Odisha." Social Change 49 (1): 97-113.

Authors: Amrita Patel, Jasmine Giri


The research article seeks to focus on the status of women from the coastal districts of Odisha who have become migrants essentially because of repeated floods and extreme climatic events. Fluctuating weather conditions, the consequent depletion of agricultural work and availability of other forms of employment in their place of origin are some reasons behind the migration of these women. The study particularly looks at Bhubaneswar where women, largely illiterate and landless, mostly belonging to Scheduled Caste groups, have been able to find work on construction sites. Despite evident hardship, they have been able to meet the challenges of living in new urban destinations and in the process better their living conditions. This can be seen in the improvement of their financial status, a new-found focus of educating their daughters, the development of levels of self-confidence and the overcoming of some deeply entrenched social barriers. However, in other areas, the marginalisation of such groups continues, and vulnerabilities prevail in many forms, evident, for instance, in the lack of land ownership by women, the absence of opportunities to upgrade skills to access better work opportunities and issues of safety and security of young girls.

Keywords: women, migrants, climate change, construction workers

Topics: Agriculture, Caste, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

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