This article examines Bangladeshi women’s experiences of their men’s migration. It focuses on the lifestyles, household responsibilities, and levels of compliance with or defiance against dominant gender ideologies concerning the everyday lives of left-behind women in two migration-intensive villages in Bangladesh. By locating the meanings and substance of women’s power and agency in the context of their living arrangement in nuclear, joint, and natal families, I argue that the choices and priorities of these women be interpreted beyond liberal feminist models of “empowerment” and “emancipation.”

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