Over the last ten years, migration has emerged as an important topic in development circles. Migration has generated considerable interest among development policy-makers and academia, giving rise to what is now known as the migration–development nexus. However, most of these debates have been underpinned by an understanding of development as purposive intervention and privileging economic aspects of development. Moreover, limited attention has been paid to women as migrants or to gender as a constituting factor in migration. When women have been taken into account, they have been portrayed as the ‘ultimate remitters’, replicating efficiency arguments prevalent in gender and development approaches during the 1980s. The aim of this paper is to bring the gender and migration literature to bear on migration–development nexus debates. The review identifies three main problems with the literature on migration and development: (i) the type of development that underpins these discussions, (ii) the omission of social development, and (iii) the lack of attention to migrant women and gender as a constituting factor of migration. The final part identifies key challenges for future research in this area.