The separation of migrants from the family unit, as a result of labour migration, can have profound effects on family organization and the lives of family members. Using data from a 2006 survey of 1,680 married women from 56 villages in southern Mozambique, we examined the relationship between men's labour migration and the decision-making autonomy of women who stayed behind. The results show that both men's cumulative migration history and current migration status are positively associated with women's autonomy, and that the effects on autonomy may persist even after the man's return. Three intervening factors-women's employment outside the home, lower fertility, and residential independence from extended family members-did not fully mediate the effects of men's labour migration. This is consistent with the assumption that the migrant's absence has a 'direct' effect on his wife's autonomy.
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