Exercising Exit, Voice and Loyalty: A Gender Perspective on Transnationalism in Haiti


Gammage, Sarah. 2004. “Exercising Exit, Voice and Loyalty: A Gender Perspective on Transnationalism in Haiti.” Development and Change 35 (4): 743–71.

Author: Sarah Gammage


This article explores gendered patterns of migration and transnationalism in Haiti. A combination of factors has prompted extensive rural-urban migration and emigration over the last three decades: violence, repression, economic collapse and the implementation of neoliberal reforms have left many Haitians with few options other than to seek a new life elsewhere. Although many Haitians abroad naturalize and take citizenship in host countries, emigration does not mean that ties to their homeland are severed. Indeed, a substantial number of Haitians remain intimately connected to Haiti, visiting, sending remittances and gifts, investing in land and exercising political voice in Haiti and in their country of residence. This article focuses on the gender dimension of Haitian migration and transnationalism drawing on Hirschman's typology of exit, voice and loyalty. These options are uniquely gendered. Although most analyses of transnational citizenship focus on men, women and women's movements in Haiti have also benefited from transnational organizing and the transnational links forged over the past three decades. Through migration, women have participated in changing the financial architecture and political landscape of Haiti. Expressions of voice and loyalty by women are challenging traditional gender roles in Haiti and contributing to an emerging transnationalism that has profound effects on Haitians and their communities at home and abroad.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2004

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