Studies on transit migration in Africa and beyond reveal a Eurocentric bias, focusing on transit countries located on the fringes of Europe. Furthermore, there is a significant research gap on female transit migrants, and transit points at respective countries of origin. The proposed ethnographic research questions these dominant discourses and seeks to fill the knowledge gap by focusing on the case of Ethiopian female migrants by studying a transit country, Djibouti, located outside of the fringes of Europe, and two transit towns in Ethiopia. According to the preliminary information gathered through interviews and observation in Djibouti, there are thousands of Ethiopian female transit migrants in Djibouti city that work in a strongly gendered labour market.
Methods and concepts
Based on an ethnographic research, the proposed study documents and examines the biographies and profiles of the migrants, their perceptions about migration, factors that informed their decisions to migrate, their everyday lives in transit, their pathways of incorporation, the challenges they face and the different strategies they adopt to overcome them, factors that impact the migrants’ decisions to stay in the transit country, move further, return home and/or to choose their final destinations.
Outcomes and societal relevance
The study will contribute to the on-going academic discussion on transit migration and feminisation of migration by adding the perspective of female transit migrants. In so doing, the study seeks to fill the gender and regional gaps in studies on transit migration. Furthermore, the proposed study contributes to the formulation of effective, sustainable and rights-based policy responses to migration in general and transit migration in particular.