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Sisters on the Move: Ethiopia’s Gendered Labour Migration Milieu

Meron Zeleke Eresso, Center for Human Rights, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This paper presents intricacies of gender and migration drawing on the growing phenomenon of Ethiopian female siblings’ outmigration. Siblings’ migration displays how the migration process is highly impacted by dominant gendered socio-cultural norms as much as it is affected by the demand structures in destination countries. Gendered socialization patterns, gendered norms and gendered roles highly affect the migration trends in defining who migrates, why and how, in the context of patriarchal society. Overarching gender norms influence women’s access to education, employment and their autonomous decisions of migration. Furthermore, the paper presents how a migration project and sponsorship of ones’ own younger sister by a female migrant issued as a “resistance” mechanism to flee different forms of gender-based violence young girls and women face at their places of origin. Co-migration of sisters and female siblings’ sponsorship reinforces the gendered labor migration, enhancing intergenerational female labor migration pattern.


May 29, 2019


Internationales Kolleg Morphomata
Weyertal 59
50937 Köln