For a long time, women have remained invisible in studies on migration in the Maghreb countries. Their socio-economic contributions and unique experiences have not been taken into account by researchers. In the 1960s and 1970s migration studies often assumed that most migrants were males, and that women were always present in migratory flows as spouses, daughters and dependents of male migrants. Consequently, migration was portrayed as purely a male phenomenon, despite the fact that mobility of women affects the roles of both female and male migrants when considering the families left behind in the migration process. Despite the fact that migration responds to and impacts capital, labour, culture, identities, the family and citizenship in sending and receiving countries, statistics on female migration—both internal and international—are notoriously poor.

This lack of information and data on women migration is not only the case in Maghreb countries. As a matter of fact, it is only recently that the international community has begun to grasp the significance of what migrant women have to offer, even though women constitute almost half of all international migrants worldwide, despite contributions to poverty reduction and struggling economies.

This paper is dealing with women international migration, its trends, dimensions, characteristics and effects in Maghreb countries (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), which constitute probably one of the most remarkable geographical regions of the world with respect to labour migration movements.


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