Remittances to the subregion have continued to increase in the past years and play an important role to the economies of several countries in the subregion, especially in Nepal, where remittances accounted for 22 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 (World Bank 2011).9 The number of women migrating for work from Nepal is trending higher, with estimates on the share of female migrants from Nepal out of total migrants from the country varying between 3.4 and 10 per cent.10 However, in the absence of detailed sex-disaggregated data on migrants and sex-disaggregated remitters’ information, it is hard to pinpoint women migrant workers’ contributions to these remittance data.

One of the major limitations of the remittance data is the lack of any reliable information on the contribution of women in remittance flows. In fact, only few remittance-recipient countries provide national level remittances data disaggregated by contributions of male and female migrant workers (UN DESA 2009).

Through its various activities, UN Women has found that women migrant workers tend to be better managers of their resources than male migrants. They save more money from their earnings and utilize it more effectively in areas that have direct bearing on poverty reduction. This includes better financial management of the household, expenditure on food, repayment of loans, children’s education, and investment in land and business. The role of women migrant workers is not simply as beneficiaries but contributors to the economies of their countries (Khatri 2007).


9 See remittances chapter in this report.

10 See Nepal chapter in this report.