Migration of young Tunisians: gender relations determine who migrate and why?

Ibtihel Bouchoucha, (INED/CERPOS)

Many researchers highlighted the increase tendency of female migration and they explained it by the gradual improvement of the social status of women and their progressive integration into the labor market. But they have also shown that these migrations, especially in developing countries are still influenced by the traditional social model (Antoine and Sow, 2000). Tunisian society has changed. Currently, women invest, more than in previous generations, active life. However, at migration level, the traditional family model is still highly representative. The desire of emigration of young Tunisians is increasingly important that explains the growing trend for emigration. The results of the youth survey in Tunisia (1996, 2000 and 2005) show that both of sexes intend to leave the country and live outside (Fourati, 2008). However the statistics on international migration show that the level of migration of young women is very low not only compared to male migration but also to the level of their desire to migrate. The objective of this research is to show the role of gender relations in the young Tunisians migrations. We try to study in particular the influence of gender relations on the decision to leave as well as on the main migration reasons. Our main hypothesis is that gender relations determine the decision to migrate and the migration’s reasons of the two sexes. Women and men may have the same desire to migrate but this does not mean that they have the same probability to migrate. Men are more likely to migrate and their migration is principally for economic reasons. However, women migrate principally for family reasons. The first part is descriptive and comparative analyses. And the second part is explanatory analyses based on logistic regressions. We use data from the labor force survey (2005-2006).

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Presented in Session 2: Migration decisions