Before joining Kuwait University, she worked in Hawaii, USA at the East-West Population Institute and at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad. Besides international migration, her research has focused on various themes including the role of social factors in infant and child mortality; predictors of fertility and contraceptive use; women’s role and status; utilization of health services; and psychosocial and physical health of older persons.
Labor migration, especially from Asian to oil-rich Gulf countries, has been a consistent and very prominent theme in her research throughout her professional career. She is co-scientific director of the Gulf Labor Markets and Migration (GLMM) program (www.gulfmigration.org). Her migration related research includes analyses of socioeconomic profiles and economic progress of migrant workers, domestic worker migration, violence against women migrants, increasingly restrictive policies of host countries, irregular migration, the role of social networks in migration, and migration policies of host and home countries. She serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of Asian and Pacific Migration Journal; Migration and Development; and International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Her many publications include books on Asian Labor Migration: Pipeline to the Middle East; Pakistani Women; Basic Needs, Women and Development; Population of Kuwait: Structure and Dynamics; Skillful Survivals: Irregular Migration to the Gulf; and Migration to the Gulf: Policies in Sending and Receiving Countries.