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Gender, Migration and Remittances in Southern Africa

edited by Jonathan Crush

Migrant remittances have become an important source of income for many developing countries, exceeding official development assistance. As a result, migration and remittance behaviour are becoming a growing focus of international attention. Understanding the processes and patterns of remittance behaviour can help shed light on their usage and impact, both on recipient households and on wider socio-economic development in migrant-origin countries. One key aspect of such an understanding is the gender dynamics of migration and remittance practices. Globally, there is evidence of the feminization of migrant flows, with women increasingly migrating as independent migrants in their own right. Female migrants maintain strong ties to family members in their home countries. These include significant flows of remittances, of both cash and goods, sent to family members at home. Southern Africa has a long history of cross-border migration and associated flows of remittances. Although cross-border economic migration in the region has been dominated by male migrant labour to the South African mining industry, women have also engaged in movement across the region’s borders for purposes of seeking work. Evidence suggests that female migration in the region, especially to South Africa, has increased significantly over the past 10-15 years. Little is known about the nature of migrant women’s remittances and their impact on the households that receive them, nor about the changing patterns of male and female migration over the past decade.

SAMP devised the Migration and Remittances Surveys (MARS) to provide nationally-representative data on remittance flows and usage at the household level for five SADC countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. SAMP-led research teams in each country conducted the survey using a standardized questionnaire and sampling strategy. Households were randomly selected and included in the survey only if they had members who were cross-border migrants working outside the country.

ISBN 9781920118709 | 60 pages | 244 x 170 mm | 2008 | Idasa, South Africa | Paperback




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