Is feminization really on the rise? The case of international migration flows from DR Congo and Senegal

Sophie Vause, Université Catholique de Louvain
Sorana Toma, CREST and Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE)

Previous research, mostly focused on Asian and Latin American contexts, found that women are increasingly present in international migration flows, especially so as independent economic actors. This paper examines the extent to which these two trends - the feminization of migration flows and an increase in autonomous female migration - can be observed in African context. It uses data collected within the Migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE) project in Senegal, DR Congo and several European countries. Several indicators allow us to examine the extent to which women moved autonomously or in association to their partner. While some evidence of a rise in autonomous female migration was found among the Congolese, no salient change was visible in Senegal. The findings were interpreted in light of the more rigid patriarchal system and traditional gender norms that characterize Senegal in comparison to DR Congo.

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Presented in Poster Session 4