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Africa, gender and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Tolulope Esther Kuti

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm008

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Kuti, T. E. 2013. Africa, gender and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


The mobility of people within and across national territories has remained one of the most remarkable endeavors over human histories. Migration as a human undertaking is a significant question of concern, social policy, national legislation, and multilateral relations. Migration influences virtually all national institutions and social structures in countries of origin and destination. As a matter of routine, when people move they embark on a journey of hope and uncertainty whether within or across international borders. While the dominant pattern of migration over the past 500 years, since the beginning of European colonization, has been from Europe to the global South, in the post- World War II era migration trends have become more complex, and more people are traveling from developing countries of Africa, the Americas, and Asia to Europe, North America, and Australasia. Yet, according to the Human Development Report (UNDP 2009: 1–2) most movement across the globe does not even take place between countries, but internal mobility from rural to urban regions within countries. Approximately 740 million people are classified as internal migrants worldwide – almost four times larger than the number of international migrants. Among those who have moved across national borders, just over a third moved from a developing to a developed country – fewer than 70 million people. Most of the world's 200 million international migrants have traveled between developed countries; with about 86 million economically active. This population data suggests that human migration will remain a critical policy question of the 21st century. Most international migrants (more than three-quarters) travel to a country with a higher level of human development than their country of origin, especially within regions and continents. In the past 40 years, women have represented a larger share of internal and transnational migrants than ever before, drawn by growing demand from the global North for domestic service, hospitality, entertainment, and even manufacturing services (UNDP 2009).


  • equality;
  • women;
  • development;
  • family;
  • labor;
  • equality;
  • sustainable development