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Gender and Family Relations: Experiences of Highly Educated Eritrean Migrants in the UK

Abstract

Using the concept of intersectionality and narrative interviews with eighteen highly educated Eritrean migrants in the UK, this phenomenological study puts gender and family at the centre of socio-cultural integration of migrants. The research findings indicate that migration increases the economic power and freedom of women, helping them improve their social status and lead independent lives. However, there is a conflict within households relating to the need to maintain traditional patriarchal values and recognise women as equal partners. This, among other factors, has hindered the women’s gender equality and emancipation from patriarchal oppression within the host country. Most of the women participants in this study experienced more exclusion and mistreatment than men. They often shoulder career and familial responsibilities. Some of the women even shift to part-time jobs or interrupt their careers to take care of their children as they lack family support and could not afford to pay for childcare. The study contributes to a better understanding of migrants’ socio-cultural experiences in their host country.

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Acknowledgements

I am grateful to my participants. I also wish to thank Prof. Marie-Pierre Moreau, Prof. Debbie Epstein, Tabitha Magese Sindani and the anonymous reviewers for providing constructive feedback.

Funding

This research was partially supported by Roehampton University-Sacred Heart (RUSH), and Roehampton University-Santander Scholarships.

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Correspondence to Samson Maekele Tsegay.

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Tsegay, S.M. Gender and Family Relations: Experiences of Highly Educated Eritrean Migrants in the UK. Glob Soc Welf (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-021-00217-4

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Keywords

  • Gender
  • Migration
  • Family relations
  • Higher education
  • Eritrea