South Africa is historically a country of migration, mostly male mining workers, from rural South Africa and from neighbouring countries.
From 1994, democracy enabled access to the cities that were previously restricted. A different migratory pattern began to develop, and internal and international migration to South Africa becomes a noticeable trend.
Increasingly, women from rural areas and from other African countries are migrating. They migrate as workers in their own right or as partners of male migrants, and increasingly as refugees and asylum seekers.
In light of the increasing number of female migrants and female headed households, there is a need to pay attention to the multiple roles of migrant women and their specific vulnerabilities, for example the burden of sickness on their households.
Caring role in the event of sickness
Women migrants in all these roles are pivotal for the
subsistence of their transnational and trans-border
Feminization of migration
Migration, food security, and HIV/ AIDS: results from a household survey in Johannesburg Selected Areas Informal settlement Sol- Plaatjies 200 households Formal Sector Berea, Hillbrow and Jeppestown 300 households
South African Migrants 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 1 2 Non-South Africa Migrants Men Women Men Women
Total of 489 households = 489 respondents
26% of the households were female headed (N=122)
74% of the households were male headed (N=342)
Information obtained on 1,533 individuals in total (all household members ).
Population Study 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 1 2
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Household size male headed households 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Household size female headed households . Household size and gender of the head of the household Overall, a household of 2 or 3 people is the most common size. Female headed households are bigger than male headed households. Generally, female headed households consist of 3 or more people. Frequency
Men’s Migration Networks: Who did you know in Johannesburg prior to migrating? South African migrant men Foreign migrant men Men, both nationals and foreigners tend to migrate alone. In most cases, men have ‘other relatives’ in Johannesburg as well as a brother. The do not follow their wives or partners Relative frequency 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Brother Other relative 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Relative frequency Brother Other relative
South African migrant women Foreign migrant women Women’s Migration Networks 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 5 10 15 20 25
Women tend to have a wider networks than men;
Women migrate to join their partners and other female close members of their families (sisters, mothers).
Partner Sister Mother Other relative Partner Sister Mother Other relative
To who do your send remittances? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Relative frequency 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 . In the first place for both: remittances sent by men and women are sent to parents. Women are more likely than men to send remittances to siblings and close relatives. Parents Siblings MEN WOMEN Parents Siblings Relative frequency
A multivariable analysis (categorical PCA considering gender, nationality, age, respondent position in the household and place of residence) based on an ecosystemic perspective, has shown that the main variable associated to perception of risk of HIV is gender.
Wives and female partners of the head of the household tend to feel the most at risk of HIV.
South African males are the least likely to feel at risk .
There is no significant association between perception of risk and testing .
A gender perspective is central in the study of migration and health and is not always central in studies, policies and interventions.
Data disaggregated by sex shows general and important trends but it does not provide insights on the power relationships that characterise migration and intra-household relationships.
Questions about the multiplicity of women’s roles, the economic and reproductive burden, and the burden of sickness in the face of HIV/Aids pandemic need to be addressed. This requires a transdisciplinary perspective to implement more effective interventions.