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Coming back and moving backwards: return migration and gender norms in Egypt

Publication Illustration
Goleen, Samaari.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Year of Publication

This study examines how gender norms and household gender dynamics are modified in Egypt as a result of male return migration from other Arab Countries. Data come from the 2006 and 2012 Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey. For 7,314 married couples in 2006 and 8,992 married couples in 2012, treatment effects regression models of gender norms and household decision-making and return migration are estimated. Egyptian women with spouses who have migrated to an Arab country and returned value more traditional gender norms.

Women in households with a spouse who returned also make fewer household decisions compared to women in non-migrant households. Women with spouses who have migrated multiple times also make fewer household decisions compared to women who had a spouse migrate before 2006. The findings suggest transformation of household gender dynamics and reinforcement of traditional gender ideologies by male emigration to and immigration from other Arab countries.