Migration of highly skilled women from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe: flows, strategies and social remittances.

Room K
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00
cultural environment, gender, minority issues

Gender inequality is a powerful barrier to economic, social and political progress and at the same time can be an important push factor for accessing migration, particularly when women have economic, political and social expectations which real opportunities at home do not meet (Martin, 2007). This is the case of many African highly skilled women that migrate to Europe to improve their education and become more independents. At present both the international institutions and the literature starts to address their interest to them because of their potential skills transfer to the origin communities.

The main goal is to widen the known profile of Sub-Saharan highly skilled women in Europe who, in the literature, are seen mainly just as nurses. Other goals are the acknowledgment of their migratory strategies and of their role in economic and social remittance scenario (Levitt, Lamba Nieves 1998-2011).The study conducted from a social geography perspective, but with interdisciplinary incursions, is based on two different approaches: Time Geography (Hägerstrand, 1970 - Lenntorp 2004) and Life Course Approach (Elder, Glen and Giele, 1985-1998). Is mixed qualitative and quantitative and used both a questionnaire and a semi structured interviews to African highly skilled women living in Europe.The results shows that the Sub-Saharan highly skilled women who lives in Europe are young, belongs especially from Central and West African Countries, studies and works in economic field, resides mainly France, UK, Netherland and Belgium and are satisfied about job and career. Migrate in more than one Country, shows a strong ties with home and present communities and are involved in development projects especially related to women and to education.

Camilla Spadavecchia
Università di Genova
camilla.spadavecchia [at]

Organizing Partners

Main Sponsors