New research explores experiences of Pakistani husbands married to British women

Adeeba Malik-New research has uncovered the challenges faced by some Pakistani men migrating to join their wives in the UK.

The University of Bristol and Bradford-based charity QED Foundation joined forces to deliver the first ever pre-departure training programme aimed at preparing husbands for a new life in Britain.

They also interviewed two groups of men to hear about the experiences of those who had been settled here for up to four years or for more than a decade.

One in five partners or spouses granted clearance to enter the UK in 2016 was from Pakistan.

'The men we spoke to before leaving didn't seem very worried about encountering challenges when they moved to the UK,' says University of Bristol reader in sociology Dr Katharine Charsley.

So it comes as a real shock to many new arrivals when they find themselves trapped in low-paid, dead-end jobs, working long and often anti-social hours to help to support their families in the UK, whilst also hoping to send remittances to aging parents or younger siblings left behind in Pakistan.'

The research showed that lack of time and money often prevented the husbands gaining the training and language skills needed to find better jobs and limited their ability to develop new social networks.

Many of the men interviewed in the course of the research expected to continue the same career path that they had followed in Pakistan.

Instead the only opportunities open to them were in jobs such as catering, dishwashing, warehousing and factory and retail work.

There was more disappointment and loss of self-esteem when they found that they were no longer the main breadwinner because their wives earned more.

Newly arrived husbands were often dependent on their in-laws to find them jobs and offer accommodation, so could end up at the bottom of the family pecking order.

Asian Image reporter


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