Contested Migration

Tswana Women “Running Away” from the “Land of the Desert”

  • Camilla May Cockerton

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 1-19
  3. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 21-36
  4. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 37-57
  5. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 59-79
  6. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 81-97
  7. Camilla May Cockerton
    Pages 113-134
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 141-149

About this book


The migrant has been designated the central or defining figure of the 20th and 21st centuries. For much of this period, research and theory have centred on adult men as representative, ignoring women’s part in international migration. Similarly, in Botswana, most history books on migration focus solely on men’s experiences. Weaving together history, theory and migrant women’s own words, this book reveals Tswana women’s multifaceted participation in the cross-border flows from colonial Botswana to pre-apartheid South Africa. Women succeeded in “running away” despite the opposition of Tswana and colonial male authorities. This book celebrates women’s agency and determination in creating new social networks, finding employment, and supporting children and families.

Camilla Cockerton has been a university lecturer in International Development and a volunteer with NGOs in Africa and New Zealand. Her passion for migration, gender, home and resilience started with her PhD research on Tswana women’s migrancy in southern Africa. After losing her home in the Christchurch earthquakes, Camilla and her three children experienced forced migration. She now works as a Social Scientist for Building Research Association of New Zealand. This independent research company aims to improve the capacity in New Zealand to provide safer, healthier and more resilient buildings.


Migration women gender matrilineal Botswana feminisation of migrant flows Southern Africa

Authors and affiliations

  • Camilla May Cockerton
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherWellingtonNew Zealand

Bibliographic information