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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 26: Work > Migration

Many women work away from their homes. Some women travel daily from home to work, while others have moved many miles to live near work. This is called ‘migration’.

a woman carrying baggage after getting off a bus
Remember that everyone
feels alone at first.
This is natural.

Most often women move from rural areas to cities where big factories offer jobs, or where they can get jobs as domestic workers. Some women choose to move, but others are forced to move because there is no food or work at home, or because factories offer more money. Often the money these women make is very important for supporting their families back home.

When women migrate, they may be alone for the first time. This can be very frightening because they are away from the family and friends who gave them support.

Here are a few things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable in a new home:

a group of women walking together on a sidewalk while another woman walks away alone
Avoid dangerous situations like
walking home alone at night.
  • Make friends with other women at work. These women can become a new source of support.
  • Find a safe place to live. Many companies run their own hostels. Some are safe, but many are not. Sometimes they are places where women live in poor conditions and pay too much money for rent. The company may also take advantage of these women because they do not have control over where they live.

Sometimes the only way to get safe housing is to find it yourself. Here is an example of a woman’s group that organized for safe housing:

Women who work making clothes in factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh, became tired of their poor, unhealthy living conditions, where they were often sexually harassed and abused. With help from a woman with management experience, they set up 2 hostels. Now the workers pay part of their wages to the hostel. In return, the staff, who are all women, provide food, cooking utensils, blankets, clothing, and other help. The workers are safe and close to work, and are able to save more of their wages. —Bangladesh

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019