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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reverse Migration: The Impact of Returning Home


Global labor migration is gendered. There is a common misperception that most migrant workers are male but large numbers of women migrate in order to find work abroad or to urban sectors within their own countries. Migrant labor is also divided along gendered lines by the types of work available and rates of pay. Women constitute about half of international migrants (95 million), and send millions of dollars in remittances home to educate their children and support their families (UNFPA, 2006). Since the 1960’s, approximately half of migrant workers have been female but since 2000, there has been an increase in women migrating independently and as the main income earner, rather than just following male relatives (Jolly, 2005)

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