Document Type

SAMP Special Reports

Publication Date



The number of international migrants passed 200 million in 2008, more than double the figure in 1965. As the number of migrants continues to grow, the character of international migration has been transformed. South-South migration, as it is now commonly referred to, is acquiring ever-greater significance in contemporary migration configurations. South-South movements of international migrants are highly gendered. In particular, the feminization of international migration has meant that the absolute numbers and proportion of women migrants is increasingly rapidly. More and more women are also migrating for work in other countries in their own right. The gender dynamics behind this new trend in South-South migration have not been sufficiently examined. In spite of the rapid increase in the volume and diversity of knowledge on the migration-development nexus, issues on gender and especially the changing role of women, continue to be lacking.

This study aims to contribute to the narrowing of this knowledge gap through an interlinked analysis of migration and development from a gendered perspective. It pays particular attention to the impact of remittances – financial, in-kind and social – on gendered development processes in countries of origin and amongst transnational households spanning the origin and destination countries. The study focuses on these dynamics in the context of Lesotho and the destination country of South Africa.


The overall objective of the Project is to enhance gender-responsive local development by identifying and promoting options in the utilization of remittances for sustainable livelihoods and the building of social capital in poor rural and semi-urban communities. The strategic aims include:

  • increasing awareness and improving access by women-headed, remittance-recipient households to productive resources while augmenting their assets and strengthening their capacities;
  • providing relevant information and support to local and national governments to identify and formulate policies that will optimize the utilization of remittances for sustainable livelihoods and building social capital; and
  • enhancing the capacities of key stakeholders to integrate gender into policies, programmes, projects and other initiatives linking remittances with sustainable livelihoods and building social capital.

The Project has been implemented in six countries, which provide a global representation of UNDP’s regional bureaus: Albania, Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Morocco, Phillipines and Senegal.

The Project’s main hypothesis is that the optimized use of remittances enhances gender-responsive local development. By analyzing the actual use of remittances, opportunities and weaknesses will be diagnosed, thus identifying possibilities for intervention as well as identifying capacity building needs for enhancing gender-responsive local development. The developmental impacts of remittances can be analyzed at the macro, meso and micro levels.