Call for Articles into Theme: WOMEN AND MIGRATION IN AFRICA
This issue explores African women’s experiences of migration and displacement through multiple lenses. We seek submissions that shed light on international, regional, national and local policies that shape women’s choices (or lack thereof) and experiences of migration, exclusion and displacement. Migration and displacement, as framed in this issue, are more than the movement of persons from one geographic location to another. In the context of this issue, the concepts of migration and displacement capture experiences of forming of new identities and new ways of being in the world; finding belonging in new places while staying connected to the past; negotiating complex cultural, economic and social dynamics across boundaries; and struggles to come to terms with the realities that necessitated moving from one place to another. Guided by the feminist principle of ‘the personal is political,’ we invite writers with experience and/or knowledge of African women’s migration to contribute to this important issue. Priority for this issue will be given to evidence-based articles that illustrate the connection between policy (or its absence/ inadequacy) and women’s choices and experiences of migration. We welcome articles that include recommendations for advocating for policies and programmes that improve women’s lives, case studies that expose policy gaps or reflect best practice, and/ or which propose women’s direct participation and involvement in policies that affect their lives.
The main sub-themes that will be explored in this issue are as follows:
1) Global Notions of migration and displacement: the changing political economy patterns globally, and impacts these have especially on women across the region. Articles under this theme will define and provide frameworks for understanding, migration, displacement and belonging.
a. Exploration of the myriad of ways that we can be displaced and seek for belonging. This piece will also provide theoretical underpinnings and the practice on the continent and beyond.
b. A feminist analysis of migration: focusing on exclusion and the inequalities underpinning the differences in men and women’s responses, practices and strategies.
2) The feminisation of migration: an exploration and analysis of shifting patterns of migration and how the phenomenon is increasingly adopting a woman’s face. What are the “pull” and “push” factors influencing women’s migration? This section will also make a critical analysis of current strategies, mechanisms and programmes and check the extent to which they respond to the realities of this increasing feminisation of migration.
a. “Choiceless choices” (without money, food and shelter, how realistic are migrants’ choices?) Experiences from the region and beyond. Experiences of women involved in rural to urban migration within countries and across borders.
b. Displaced and divided people, how women’s bodies are exploited, married-off, trafficked etc.) in times of forced migration and displacement.(Photo essays also welcome)
c. Impact of migration: Family separation (Case studies also welcome)
3) Global geopolitics and its impacts on migration and displacement of African women. In the past few decades there have been increasing numbers of people migrating from Africa to especially the global North. Analysis has pointed to this trend being largely due to a global neo-liberal economic framework which has pushed Africa especially, further to the margins of economic development. This section will attempt to place African women’s interests, concerns and experiences in these dynamics as it explores the drivers of migration within and across countries.
a. Skilled migration and emigration: Patterns of “Brain drain” or “Brain circulation” on the continent. Who wins and who loses? An analytical piece of the theories and thinking around economically active and non-economically active migrants in receiving countries.
b. Resilience and coping strategies: banding together as Africans in non-African spaces (Case studies from the diaspora).
c. Displaced by ‘gentrification’: A critique of neoliberal policies that support the displacement of poor citizens by the wealthy, big businesses and privatised services in urban spaces.
d. The gendered trend and impact of land access, ownership and displacement in Southern Africa.
e. The formation and sustenance of virtual communities through ICTs and social media as a coping mechanism after migration and displacement.
4) Migration and Money flows in the Global South: This section explores how the concept of and drive for remittances has fuelled migration and the gendered impacts of this phenomenon.
a. Women crossing borders: the patterns and experiences of women in cross border trade and the informal sector in Southern Africa
b. Domestic worker rights and experiences across borders.
c. Analysis of remittance models used by women migrants on the continent. What are the experiences of women migrants remitting to households and families? How has this impacted relationships? How gender-responsive are the banking systems on the continent in facilitating this?
5) Conceptualizing citizenship in an era of increased globalisation. To a large extent, who qualifies as a citizen and who does not determines the kind of services and quality of life one has in a given country. This section will explore how various countries in the region and on the continent have framed citizenship and how that excludes and or includes certain groups, and how this impacts especially women. (Case studies would also be great).
a. Culture, migration, belonging, displacement and the politics of identity (refugee women’s experiences in and outside of the region). What are their experiences of displacement and in shaping and reshaping these women’s identities as well as their sense of belonging?
b. Xenophobia: Afro-phobia/Negrophobia: structural causes and underlying drivers. Women bear the brunt. Analysis of women’s experiences in these contexts.
c. Race, class and gender in migration: migration experiences of women of different races and socio-economic classes.
d. Language and politics of identity (Finding a home in our tongues and in our mouths; accessibility, cultural context and colloquialism).
e. Experiences of low-literate women in foreign countries.
f. ‘Migrating to a new religion’: Experiences of women forced to change religions through marriage.
g. Displacement, belonging and politics of the body: Policy influences on migration choices and experiences of lesbians, gays, bisexual and trans men and women.
6) Responsiveness of migration-focused policy and legal frameworks to the needs of African Women: Interrogation of the extent to which available policy frameworks at continental, regional and national levels are responsive to the needs of African women and girls in and outside of their respective countries. How do these frameworks take into account the needs and realities of women and girls on the continent? Such frameworks include (but are not limited to): -
a. The SADC Gender Protocol
b. The Africa Common Position on Migration and Development;
c. Regional migration policy framework, e.g. SADC framework on immigration;
d. The Africa Agenda 2063: a secure future for African women in and outside of Africa;
e. The Soweto Declaration;
f. The Protocol to the African Charter on Women’s Human Rights;
g. Agricultural and mining policies that have led to the migration and forced displacement of citizens, with a specific focus on the impact on women;
h. International, regional and national policies for refugees and asylum seekers;
i. Human rights based frameworks for migration and immigration.
7) PHOTO ESSAYS
8) RELEVANT MOVIE AND BOOK REVIEWS
9) POEMS, CARTOONS, POSTERS, etc.
10) Existing or Proposed PUBLIC ART/ACTIONS and/or LIVE ART PERFORMANCES or INSTALLATIONS for documentation and featuring in the publication.
7) Urbanisation as a driver of migration
Sixty-six percent of the continent’s population is now urbanised; there is often a eulogised myth around rural existence) as it is a big driver of migration both rural to urban within states and/or across borders. We invite case studies or photo essays on the big cities across the region (or continent), focusing on issues of urban informality (housing, trade, care economy) etc. local policy, urban planning, informal economies, and public service and infrastructure delivery etc.
Indicate your interest and focus of your selected piece by 15 September 2015. All full articles should be submitted by 15 October 2015.
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