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Women and migration in Albania: a view from the village
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 13:26 authored by Julie Vullnetari
Since the fall of communism in the early 1990s, Albania has experienced migrations of epic proportions: 17 years later almost one in four Albanians has emigrated and lives abroad, primarily in Greece and Italy. Albanian emigration has by and large represented a typically male-dominated model, whereby men have ''led the way'' and women have followed as family members. Despite the considerable participation of Albanian women in this migration, their roles and experiences remain under-researched. Based on in-depth interviews with rural migrant women and their families, as well as additional ethnographic material collected from 2004 to 2006 in Albania and Greece, this paper aims to fill this knowledge gap. The findings demonstrate the various ways in which Albanian rural women participate in the migratory process. They are often the most important pillar for supporting the family migration strategy through their productive and reproductive labour when remaining behind. They are also closely involved in decision-making about the migration of other family members. Furthermore, they have been among the pioneers of the early 1990s migration themselves, including taking the long and risky journeys across the mountains to Greece. Overall, their contribution to the migrant household is beyond their presumed reproductive role and includes a strong economic component.
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- Geography Publications
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