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SAMP Special Reports

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The complex links between globalization and development have made contemporary migration a key area of investigation. It is estimated that over 200 million women and men have left their countries of origin to live and work abroad. Occurring simultaneously are equally intensive internal movements, primarily from rural to urban areas. Demographically, many country-specific flows have changed, both in terms of numbers and composition by sex. Studies on the feminization of migration2 have revealed women’s significant role and impact as actors in the migration process. Despite the rapid increase in the volume and diversity of knowledge on the migration-development nexus, research and debate on the gender dimensions of this issue, including the role of women within migratory flows, continues to be scarce.

In 2007, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW) began a joint project entitled “Gender and Remittances: Building Gender-Responsive Local Development. ” The project has sought to enhance gender-responsive local development by identifying and promoting options for utilizing remittances for sustainable livelihoods and for building social capital in poor rural and semi-urban communities. The research phase of the project has been implemented in six countries: Albania, the Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Morocco, the Philippines and Senegal.

The strategic aim of the project is to generate action-oriented research that will be used to:

  1. Increase awareness and improve access of women-headed, remittance-recipient households to productive resources, while augmenting their assets and strengthening their capacities;
  2. Provide relevant information to local and national governments to identify and formulate policies that will optimize remittance utilization for sustainable livelihoods and for building social capital; and
  3. Contribute to enhancing key stakeholders’ capacities to integrate gender into policies, programmes, projects, and other initiatives linking remittances with sustainable livelihoods and building social capital.

The six case studies aim to narrow the knowledge gap on the gender dimensions of migration and remittances through an interlinked analysis of migration and development. Particular attention is paid 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.


Copyright ©2010 UN-INSTRAW and UNDP. Used with permission.