Ethiopian Migrant Domestic Workers

Migrant Agency and Social Change

  • Bina Fernandez

Part of the Mobility & Politics book series (MPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Bina Fernandez
    Pages 1-24
  3. Bina Fernandez
    Pages 25-51
  4. Bina Fernandez
    Pages 103-128
  5. Bina Fernandez
    Pages 129-145
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 147-156

About this book


“In this unique, multi-sited and longitudinal empirical study, Fernandez offers a keenly observed, vivid portrait of the ‘will to change’ or the agency of Ethiopian women who migrate to work in the Middle East.”

Nicola Piper, Professor of International Migration, British Academy Global Professor Fellow, Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK


“This is a very timely and important publication. Highly recommended to anyone interested in gender and migration!”

Marina de Regt, Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands


“The impacts of the women’s migration experience on their families and societies are richly described. The book is a valuable addition to the literature, not only for migration scholars, but also for human rights activists and policy makers in Ethiopia and beyond.”

Nasra Shah, Professor, Lahore School of Economics, Graduate Institute for Development Studies, Pakistan


This book tells the stories of the Ethiopian women who migrate to work as domestic workers in the Middle East. Drawing on qualitative research in Ethiopia, Lebanon and Kuwait, the author reveals how women’s aspirations to migrate are constituted within unequal gendered structures of opportunity in Ethiopia and asks us to consider how gender, race, class and nationality intersect in the construction of migrant subjectivities and agency. By analysing the impact of migration on social reproduction both in Ethiopia and the destination countries, the book offers fresh empirical and theoretical insights into the largest stream of women’s autonomous international migration from Africa.


Bina Fernandez is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.


Migration Gender Women's migration Women's resources Domestic work Ethiopia Middle East Family Community Unmarried Social reproduction

Authors and affiliations

  • Bina Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Bibliographic information