Journal of Advances in Humanities and Social Sciences
Journal ISSN: 2414-3111
Article DOI:
Received: 12 December 2015
Accepted: 16 January 2016
Published: 22 February 2016
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  • Sri Lankan women migrant workers and role of family and kinship networks

Shantha Wanninayake

Published online: 2016


Migration from Sri Lanka to other countries has played an important role not only in Gross National Production of the country, but also social and cultural activities in the people. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated however, that the total number of legal migrant workers was 25 million and the illegal migrants were in the range of 45 million throughout the world (Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment -SLBFE 2014). In 2012, migrant worker remittances amounted to $6.1bn, or over 10% of GDP, the highest income from a foreign income source to the government. Many studies have focused on economic, social and cultural impact on the person, family and the society from the women migration to Middle East employment (Colen 1995; Gunatilake 1995; Gamburd, 1995; Wanninayake 2006). The aim of this paper in to explore the impact created by women’s migration on the family network and kinship relation and the find success achieved by their families. Particularly, when a woman leaves her family for foreign employment, instantly gaps and challenges arrive regarding the security of the family and taking care of children. In such situations, how does the family network and kinship networks operate, and with what effect? The study show when the woman absent, family members filling the gaps and share the service as well as how they managed, controlled, consumed, saved or invested remittance which have received as foreign earning by using their family and kinship networks. The study covers the two DS Divisions in administrative district of Kurunegala in North Western Province in Sri Lanka and selected a random sample for collecting data. The study manly depends on qualitative data using in-depth interviews, interview with key informants.