Ways to Come, Ways to Leave: Gender, Mobility, and Il/Legality among Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen

Citation:

De Regt, Marina. 2010. “Ways to Come, Ways to Leave: Gender, Mobility, and Il/Legality among Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen.” Gender & Society 24 (2): 237–60.

 

Author: Marina De Regt

Abstract:

Based on anthropological fieldwork in Yemen, this article examines the relationship between gender, mobility, and il/legality in the lives of Ethiopian domestic workers. Studies about migrant domestic workers in the Middle East often focus on abuse and exploitation, making a plea for the regulation of women’s legal status. Yet legal migration does not automatically mean that women gain more rights and become more mobile; regulation may also entail more control. The relationship between method of entry and legal status is not fixed, and the boundaries between legality and illegality are often blurred, with women moving in and out of il/legality and legal organizations following illegal practices, and vice versa. Gendered state policies and practices also affect women’s space for maneuvering, and attempts at regulation may further restrict rather than increase their mobility.

Keywords: international relations, transnational relations, migration, work, occupation

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2010

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