Gender dimensions of the migration, environment and care nexus: The case study of the Mahanadi delta, India  

Giorgia Prati, Ignacio Cazcarro and Somnath Hazra (2021) Gender dimensions of the migration, environment and care nexus: The case study of the Mahanadi delta, India. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability (in press)

Migration and environmental change are deeply interconnected processes, intimately linked
to development pathways. The gender dimension of these complex interactions is often
overlooked, yet there are profound linkages and implications. This paper focuses on the
gender division of labour to investigate how migration and environmental change relate to
gender equality and sustainability. The study draws on research conducted in the Mahanadi
delta, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. In the Mahanadi delta migration is largely male
dominated. Women are left behind in vulnerable environments facing social and economic
challenges having impacts on their empowerment. The findings show shifts in work
burden, as women often engage in new activities alongside the traditional domestic and
social reproductive work, but highlights differences across age and household headship.
First, this paper identifies the connections between gender, sustainability and care
–conceptually and empirically. Second, it explores the gender division of labour in the
study area by discussing its structural causes. Third, it provides insights into migration
dynamics and examines how they feed back into gender equality and sustainability. Finally,
it argues for the need of integrated analytical approaches that reflect ecological and social-
equity challenges.