Negotiating between patriarchy and emancipation: rural-to-urban migrant women in Albania

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Abstract:

It is essential to explore the role of gender while analysing internal migration in Albania to account for the differing experiences of men and women. Quantitative studies suggest that Albanian internal migration is pioneered by men, with women merely acceding to their wishes. This article addresses the undervalued role of women in the academic discourse concerning migration in Albania. Utilizing ethnographic research techniques, it explores the role of women migrating from rural to urban areas as part of a larger household and examines the coping and negotiating strategies used for survival in the city. Our findings reveal that women actively participate in the rural-to-urban migration process, including the initial decision to migrate and the choice of destination. Women's narratives provide evidence of specific emancipation strategies through which they express themselves and their new ways of living. Women adjust to and challenge their new urban environment through gaining paid employment and expanding their social networks, as well as experience emancipation through daughters and by changing their appearance, achieving varying degrees of personal and social prosperity.

Keywords: Albania; emancipación; emancipation; migración; migration; mujeres; rural a urbano; rural-to-urban; women

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2011.610096

Affiliations: Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Population Research Center, University of Groningen, Landleven 19747 AD,Groningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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