Forced Migration

Forced Migration, Female Labour Force Participation, and Intra-household Bargaining: Does Conflict Empower Women?


Calderon, Valentina, Margarita Gafaro, and Ana Maria Ibanez. 2011. “Forced Migration, Female Labour Force Participation, and Intra-household Bargaining: Does Conflict Empower Women?” MICROCON Working Paper 56, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, Great Britain.

Authors: Valentina Calderon, Margarita Gafaro, Ana Maria Ibanez


Civilian displacement is a common phenomenon in developing countries facing internal conflict. While displacement directly affects forced migrants, it also contributes to deteriorating labor conditions of vulnerable groups of receiving communities. For the displaced population the income losses are substantial, and as they migrate to cities they will most likely join the informal labor force. Qualitative evidence reveals displaced women are better suited to compete in urban labor markets as their labor experience is more relevant for some urban low skilled occupations. Our study uses this exogenous change in female labor force participation to test how this affects female bargaining power within the household. Our results show female displaced women work longer hours, earn similar wages and contribute in larger proportions to household earnings in contrast to rural women that stayed in rural areas. However, larger contributions to households’ earnings are not strengthening bargaining power, measured with several indicators, but severe forms of domestic violence is increasing among displaced women. The anger and frustration of displaced women increases violent punishment of children. Because children of displaced families have been direct victims of conflict and domestic violence, the intra-generational transmission of violence is highly likely.

Keywords: forced migration, female labor participation, intra-household bargaining, domestic violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Domestic Violence, Economies, Gender, Households, Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2011

Gendered Dimensions of Land and Rural Livelihoods: The Case of New Settler Farmer Displacement at Nuanetsi Ranch, Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe


Mutopo, Patience. 2011. Gendered Dimensions of Land and Rural Livelihoods: The Case of New Settler Farmer Displacement at Nuanetsi Ranch, Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe. Brighton, UK: Land Deals Politics Initiative.

Author: Patience Mutopo


The bio fuels boom has recently been gaining much currency in Zimbabwe. This revolution has had different impacts on the lives of men and women who occupied land during the fast track land reform programme. A notable hectrage of land that was acquired for resettlement and given to beneficiaries has in recent months, from February 2010 until the present moment, been deemed to be land that was wrongly gazetted for resettlement during the mayhem ( jambanja) phase by the government of Zimbabwe, through its line agencies at national, provincial and district level. The change in policy by the government of Zimbabwe was to pave way for large companies engaged in bio fuel production such as the Mwenezi Development Trust in conjunction with a consortium of former white commercial farmers regaining entry into large scale commercial production of bio fuels, crocodile farming and cattle ranching at Nuanetsi Ranch, in Zimbabwe. Nuanetsi Ranch had been invaded by villagers from different parts of Mwenezi, Chiredzi and Chivi communal areas since 2000. In February 2010 the government announced that the settlers had to be removed and resettled in other “uncontested lands” in the area, compromising their rights to sustainable livelihoods, human development and land acquisition. The perceptions of the men and women resident at Chigwizi has had a bearing on understanding the nature of gendered land and rural livelihoods in the context of bio fuel production in Zimbabwe after fast track land reform.

The events that have happened can be viewed as forced displacement by the government which encouraged the men and women to settle on that land in 2000. The outcomes of the displacement has compromised the right to livelihood, the right to land and the right to sustainable human development of the men and women as they have not been given any voice in the matter, which is being regulated by the government. I conclude by suggesting that the bio politics rooted in the creation of a Zimbabwean bio economy, which has been defined as an economy based on ecological sensitive products and services produced by bio technology and renewable energy sources, (World Biotechnology Report 2008), has had rather negative consequences on the land based livelihoods of the men and women at Chigwizi. This has also compromised the gendered livelihoods of settlers at Chigwizi village, with women being more disadvantaged as they have difficulties in land access and utilization in rural Zimbabwe based on male primogeniture, political and cultural considerations. Policy makers should craft gender transformative policies in agro fuel projects that do not jeopardise the livelihoods of agricultural based communities especially in cases were land reform is justified in terms of distributional justice. A gender analysis of displacement, bio fuels and rural livelihoods increases our understanding of land reforms in light of the political, economic and social forces shaping rural societies.

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Economies, Environment, Gender, Governance, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2011

'Walking the Line’: Southern Sudanese Masculinities and Reconciling One's Past with the Present


Marlowe, Jay M. 2012. “‘Walking the Line’: Southern Sudanese Masculinities and Reconciling One's Past with the Present.” Ethnicities 12 (1): 50-66.

Author: Jay M. Marlowe


This paper discusses an ethnographic engagement with Southern Sudanese men and their experiences of resettlement as refugees in Adelaide, Australia. They use the phrase ‘walking the line’ to convey the multiple challenges of reconciling one's past within the present contexts of life in a new host country. This geographic metaphor hints at the contested borderlands of masculinity, social relations and raising children that highlight the dynamic complexities related to gender and institutional power. The participant voices provide helpful perspectives on the endeavour of forging one's identity in forced migration and resettlement contexts.

Keywords: identity, masculinity, refugee, social relations, resettlement, Sudan

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, East Africa, Oceania Countries: Australia, South Sudan

Year: 2012

Gender Conflict and Displacement: Contesting ‘Infantilisation’ of Forced Migrant Women


Manchanda, Rita. 2004. “Gender Conflict and Displacement: Contesting ‘Infantilisation’ of Forced Migrant Women.” Economic and Political Weekly 39 (37): 4179–86.

Author: Rita Manchanda


The experience of the refugee or the internally displaced person is one that is fundamentally disenfranchising. While women and children make up a majority of the forcibly displaced, international humanitarian discourses confer on them a presumed passivity that is naturalised in practice. Systems of care and protection even in UNHCR camps remain largely gender insensitive especially in south Asia where national laws reinforce gender discrimination. This paper uses a gender sensitive perspective, analysing the way a woman as a refugee subject is configured as a non-person so as to gain fresh insights on the 'infantilisation' and 'de-maturation' of the refugee experience. Moreover, it raises questions on the secondary status women occupy as citizens in south Asian polities.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2004

Legal Aspects of Conflict-Induced Migration by Women


Macklin, Audrey. 2008. “Legal Aspects of Conflict-Induced Migration by Women.” Reproductive Health Matters 16 (31): 22–32.

Author: Audrey Macklin


This paper surveys the international legal frameworks, including the many guidelines, handbooks, resolutions, toolkits, conclusions and manuals produced by various United Nations bodies, that confirm an awareness of the protection issues specific to women and girls displaced by conflict. It explores the extent to which these documents address the gendered impacts of conflict-induced migration, and the role of United Nations bodies as international governmental organisations in implementing these norms. The main focus is upon internally displaced women and women refugees. In addition to problems of enforcing compliance with existing guidelines, the paper concludes that two areas - developing strategies to accommodate the realities of long-term, even permanent displacement and enhancing women's literal and legal literacy - require much greater attention on the part of governmental and non-governmental international organisations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Gender, Women, Girls, International Law, International Organizations

Year: 2008

Hombres en situación de desplazamiento: transformaciones de la masculinidad


Tovar Guerra, Claudia, and Carol Pavajeau Delgado. 2010. “Hombres en situación de desplazamiento: transformaciones de la masculinidad." Revista de Estudios Sociales 36: 95-102.

Authors: Claudia Tovar Guerra, Carol Pavajeau Delgado


Spanish Abstract:
El artículo muestra la falta de reflexión académica y política acerca de la situación de los hombres en condición de desplazamiento forzado en Colombia y analiza cómo esta problemática incide en la reconfiguración de las masculinidades, al tiempo que produce tensiones, reacciones y transformaciones en su subjetividad de género. Alude a las implicaciones sociales de dicha situación, invitando a pensar el tema desde una perspectiva psicosocial para el diseño de estrategias de acompañamiento útiles para avanzar hacia la equidad de género en este campo.
English Citation:
Tovar Guerra, Claudia, and Carol Pavajeau Delgado. 2010. ”Men in Situations of Displacement: Transformations of Masculinity." Revista de Estudios Sociales 36: 95–102. (Translation by Revista)
English Abstract:
This article demonstrates the lack of academic and political attention regarding the situation of forcibly displaced men in Colombia. It analyzes the way the problem of displacement reconfigures masculinities at the same time that it generates tensions, reactions, and transformations in the way that men think about their own gender. It alludes to the social implications of this situation, encouraging us to think about the topic from a psychosocial perspective in order to design useful accompaniment strategies to move towards gender equity in this area. (Translation by Revista)

Keywords: masculinities, forced displacement, Subjectivity, gender

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2010

Constructing ‘Modern Gendered Civilised’ Women and Men: Gender-Mainstreaming in Refugee Camps


Grabska, Katarzyna. 2011. “Constructing ‘Modern Gendered Civilised’ Women and Men: Gender-Mainstreaming in Refugee Camps.” Gender and Development 19 (1): 81–93.

Author: Katarzyna Grabska


Gender mainstreaming in humanitarian programmes with forced migrants is based on a belief that such an approach will lead to greater gender equality, while raising the status of women through their ‘empowerment’. In this article, I focus on the activities of international and local humanitarian organisations in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. I argue that the concepts of ‘gender’ and ‘women’ are often over-simplified and essentialised in gender mainstreaming, and this results in programmes which not only exacerbate gender asymmetries, but may also place women at risk.

Keywords: gender-mainstreaming, Kenya, migration

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Sudan

Year: 2011

Migration and Gender Empowerment: Recent Trends and Emerging Issues


Ghosh, Jayati. 2009. Migration and Gender Empowerment: Recent Trends and Emerging Issues. New York: United Nations Development Programme. Research paper 2009/04.

Author: Jayati Ghosh


Women are increasingly significant as national and international migrants, and it is now evident that the complex relationship between migration and human development operates in gender-differentiated ways. However, because migration policy has typically been gender-blind, an explicit gender perspective is necessary. This paper attempts this, beginning with an examination of recent trends in women’s migration, internationally and within nations. It then considers the implications of the socio-economic context of the sending location for women migrants. The process of migration, and how that can be gender-differentiated, is discussed with particular reference to the various types of female migration that are common: marriage migration, family migration, forced migration, migration for work. These can be further disaggregated into legal and irregular migration, all of which affect and the issues and problems of women migrants in the process of migration and in the destination country. The manifold and complex gendered effects of migration are discussed with reference to varied experiences. Women migrants’ relations with the sending households and the issues relevant for returning migrants are also considered. The final section provides some recommendations for public policy for migration through a gender lens.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Households, Livelihoods

Year: 2009

Sudanese Refugee Youth in Foster Care: The ‘Lost Boys’ in America


Bates, Laura, Diane Baird, Deborah J. Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Tom Luster, and Christine Rehagen. 2005. “Sudanese Refugee Youth in Foster Care: The ‘Lost Boys’ in America.” Child Welfare 84 (5): 631–48.

Authors: Laura Bates, Diane Baird, Deborah Johnson, Robert E. Lee, Tom Luster, Christine Rehagen


This study examined the resettlement experiences of unaccompanied Sudanese refugee youth placed in foster care from the perspectives of the youth, foster parents, and agency caseworkers. Youth experienced considerable success. The challenges of adjusting to school and family life, however, suggest a need for funding to support more intensive educational services, more cultural training and support for foster parents and school personnel, and flexibility to provide services in more culturally appropriate modalities.

Topics: Age, Youth, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Gender, Boys, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma Regions: Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Sudan, United States of America

Year: 2005

The Disappearing of a Migration Category: Migrants Who Sell Sex


Agustín, Laura. 2006. “The Disappearing of a Migration Category: Migrants Who Sell Sex.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32 (1): 29–47. 

Author: Laura Agustín


Migrant women selling sex are generally neglected by migration and diaspora studies. The moral panic on ‘trafficking’, a prolonged debate within feminism on commercial sex and some activists’ attempts to conflate the concept of ‘prostitution’ with ‘trafficking’ combine to shift study of these migrants to domains of criminology and feminism, with the result that large numbers of women’s migrations are little known. This article reveals the silences at work and where the attention goes, and theorises that the shift from conventional study to moral outrage facilitates the avoidance of uncomfortable truths for Western societies: their enormous demand for sexual services and the fact that many women do not mind or prefer this occupation to others available to them.

Keywords: sex, prostitution, Trafficking, diaspora, migration

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2006


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