Gender and Migration: Integrating Feminist Theory into Migration Studies



In approximately three decades, gender and migration scholarship has moved from a few studies that included women immigrants or included gender as a dichotomous variable to a burgeoning literature that has made significant contributions to understanding numerous aspects of the migration experience. The larger field of migration studies, however, has not yet fully embraced feminist migration analysis and theory. In this article, I describe the development of gender and migration research and its theoretical underpinnings. Afterward, I highlight the key contributions that feminist migration scholars have made to our knowledge of labor migration, migrant families and social networks, transnationalism and citizenship, sex trafficking, and sexuality. Considering these important contributions, I explore the reasons why feminist migration research still lies largely outside the mainstream of the broader field and how it might achieve better integration.