• Phillip Thebe Solusi University Chinese University of Hong Kong



Determinants, Feminization, Migration, Tsholotsho, Females


Tsholotsho District is one of the most significant contributors of migrants in Zimbabwe. Until recently, many of these migrants have been males, with females remaining behind assuming both feminine and masculine roles. Of late, however, females are increasingly venturing in migration expeditions. Why is this the case? Are women taking up economic roles in a society that has largely relegated them to familial responsibilities? What determines their increasing participation in a male dominated practice? These questions are answered in this paper based on a research conducted in Ward 5 of Tsholotsho District in 2016 as well as continued interaction with interlocutors till present day. The results indicated that reasons for feminized migration cut across different realms such as fleeing unfavourable economic conditions, to unite with their migrant spouses, to contribute towards diversifying household income sources, and fleeing unhappy marriages and burdensome familial controls among others. This led the researcher to firmly conclude that feminization of migration is a new reality and future of Tsholotsho’s migration trajectory, one that will be accompanied by resultant problems and opportunities. It will require therefore, careful migration management systems in the country to harness the benefits of this migration typology while offsetting the possible problems.


Author Biography

Phillip Thebe, Solusi University Chinese University of Hong Kong

Solusi University Department of Social Science Lecturer 

Chinese University of Hong Kong (PhD in Anthropology candidate)



[1] Ackah, C. and Medvedev, D. (2010). “Internal Migration in Ghana: Determinants and Welfare Impacts”. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, WPS5273, Washington, D. C: The World Bank.
[2] Åkesson, L., Jorgen, C. and Heike, D. (2012). “Mobility, moralities and motherhood: Navigating the contingencies of Cape Verdean lives”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38 (2):237–260.[3] Anich, R., Crush, J., Melde, S., and Ouchu, D. (2014). A New Perspective on Human Mobility in the South. Springer: London.
[4] Bracking, S. and Sachikonye, L. (2006). “Remittances, Poverty Reduction and the Informalisation of the Household Well-being in Zimbabwe”. Working Paper, No 45, Global Poverty Research Group, Oxford.
[5] Carling, J. (2005). “Gender Dimensions of International Migration”, Global Migration Perspectives No. 35, Geneva: GCIM. Accessed on the 16th of January 2016 from
[6] Chant, S. (1992). “Conclusion: Towards a Framework for the Analysis of Gender-Selective Migration”. In: Gender and Migration in Developing countries. Ed. Chant, S. London and New York: Bellhaven Press, Pp. 174-196.
[7] Chant, S. and Radcliffe, S. (1992). “Migration and Development: The importance of Gender”. In: Gender and Migration in Developing Countries. Ed. Chant, S. London and New York: Bellhaven Press, Pp. 1- 29.
[8] Chikanda, A. (2011). “The Engagement of the Zimbabwean Medical Diaspora.” Southern African Migration Project, Migration Policy Series No. 55, Cape Town.
[9] Chiuri, M., De Arcangelis Uggento, A.D., and Ferri, G. (2007). “Features and Expectations of illegal Immigrants: Result of a Field Survey in Italy”. Discussion Paper 01at the Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics, Economics Department, University of Torino.
[10] Crush J. and Tawodzera, G. (2011). “Right to the Classroom: Educational Barriers for Zimbabweans in South Africa.” South African Migration Project, Cape Town.
[11] Crush J., Chikanda, A. and Tawodzera, G. (2012). “The Third Wave: Mixed Migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa”, Southern African Migration Programme, Cape Town.
[12] Deshingkar, P. and Grimm, S. (2005). Internal Migration and Development: A Global Perspective. Oxford University Press.
[13] Dzingirai, V., Mutopo, P. and Landau, L. (2014).“Confirmations, Coffins and Corn: Kinship, Social Networks and Remittances from South Africa to Zimbabwe”, Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme, University of Sussex, Sussex.
[14] Ehrenreich, B. and Hochschild, A. R. (2002). Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Henry Holt and Company, New York.
[15] El Jack, A. (2003). “Gender and Armed Conflict”, Overview Report, Cutting Edge Pack, Brighton: BRIDGE/Institute of Deve2lopment Studies.
[16] Feyissa, R. (2007). “The Sub-Saharan African Agriculture: Potential, Challenges and Opportunities”. Paper written for the 1st conference: Can Africa Feed Itself, Oslo, Norway, 6-8 June 2007.
[17] Hungwe, C. (2013). “Surviving Social Exclusion: Zimbabwean Migrants in Johannesburg, South Africa”.
[18] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007). “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, IPCC Working Group II Report. Accessed on the 4th of January 2016 from
[19] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). (2009b). Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2007. Geneva: IDMC.
[20] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).(2009a). Global Statistics on IDPs. Accessed on 27th of March 2016 from .
[21] IOM Series (2005). “Internal Migration and development: A Global Perspective.” IOM Migration Research Series (MRS) No. 19.
[22] Jolly, S. and Reeves, H. (2005). “Gender and Migration: Overview Report”. GCIM Workshop on Gender and Migration, March 2005. Geneva: BRIDGE /Institute of Development Studies.
[23] Kihato, C. W. (2010). “Reconfiguring Citizenship in African Cities”, in C. W. Kihato, M. Massoumi, B. A. Ruble, P. Subirós and A. M. Garland (eds.), Urban Diversity: Space, Culture, and Inclusive Pluralism in Cities Worldwide, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Centre Press and The Johns Hopkins University Press.
[24] Kiwanuka, M. and Monson, T. (2010). “Zimbabwean Migration Into Southern Africa: New Trends And Responses”, Forced Migration Studies Programme, Wits University.
[25] Kuhn, R. (2000). “The Logic of Letting Go: Family and Individual Migration from Bangladesh”. Paper presented at BRAC, Mohakhali, Dhaka.
[26] Lee, E. (1969). “A Theory of Migration” in J. A. Jackson (ed) Migration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[27] Lefko-Everett K, (2010). “The Voices of Migrant Zimbabwean Women in South Africa”, in J Crush and D Tevera, eds, Zimbabwe’s Exodus: Crisis, Migration, Survival, SAMP, Cape Town, 2010.
[28] Lewis, W. A. (1954). “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”, Manchester School of Economics and Social Studies, 22(4):139-91.
[29] Lim, L., Landusyt, K., Ebisui, M., Kawar, M. and Ameratunga, S. (2003). An Information Guide – Preventing Discrimination, Exploitation and Abuse of Women Migrant Workers, Geneva: ILO
[30] Litchfield, J., Mahmood, R., Siddiqui, T., Egger, E. and Ansari S. (2015). Migration and Social Networks: Evidence from Bangladesh Working Paper 31, September 2015. Migrating Out of Poverty. University of Sussex Migration project.
[31] McDuff, E. (2015) Women’s Voices from the Zimbabwean Diaspora: Migration and Change. Department of Society and Environment, Truman State University Kirksville, MO
[32] Moser, C. O. (1998). The asset vulnerability framework: reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies. World development, 26(1), 1-19.
[33] Ncube, G. (2010). Migrant Remittances, Household Livelihood Strategies and Local Development: A Case Study of Village 2 in Ward 19 of Tsholotsho District in Zimbabwe (A Research Paper Submitted For A Master Of Arts In Development Studies At The International Institute For Social Studies).
[34] Nelson, V., Meadows, K., Cannon, T., Morton, J., Martin, A. (2009). “Uncertain Predictions, Invisible Impacts, and the Need to Mainstream Gender In Climate Change Adaptations”, Gender and Development 10(2), 51–59.
[35] Piper, N. (2005).“Gender and Migration”. Commissioned Background Paper for the Global Commission on International Migration
[36] Raftopolous, B. (2011). A Study on Migration and Remittances in Matebeleland, Zimbabwe, Solidarity Peace Trust: Cape Town
[37] Shumba, A. (2010). “The Nature, Extent and Impact of the Brain Drain in Zimbabwe and South Africa”. Acta Academica, 24(1): 209–241.
[38] Siddiqui, T. (2004a). “Bangladesh: The Complexities and Management of Out-Migration” in Pong-Sul Ahn (ed.)
[39] Tevera, D. and Chikanda, A. (2009).“Migrant Remittances and Household Survival in Zimbabwe.” Southern African Migration Project (SAMP), Migration Policy Series No. 51.
[40] Tevera, D. and Crush, J. (2010).“The New Brain Drain from Zimbabwe”. Migration Policy Series No. 29, SAMP, Cape Town.
[41] Tevera, D., Crush, J. and Chikanda, A. (2010). “Migrant Remittances and Household Survival in Zimbabwe”, in J Crush & D Tevera, (eds), Zimbabwe’s Exodus: Crisis, Migration, Survival, SAMP, Cape Town, 2010.
[42] Thebe, P., and Maviza, G. (2019). “The Effects of Feminization of Migration on Family Functions in Tsholotsho District”, Zimbabwe. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(5)73-82.
[43] Todaro, M. P. (1969). “A Model of Labour Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries”. American Economic Review, 59 (1):138-148.
[44] Truong, T. (1996). “Gender, International Migration and Social Reproduction: Implications for Theory, Policy Research and Networking.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 5(1) 27–52.
[45] United Nations (2014).“Country Situational Analysis.” Zimbabwe Country Office Working Report 2014, Harare.
[46] Wekwete, K. H. (2001). “The impact of National Policy on Urban Settlements in Zimbabwe” in De Wet, C and Fox, R. Transforming Settlement in Southern Africa, International African Seminars.
[47] Yaro, J.A., Codjoe, S. N. A., Agyei-Mensah, S., Darkwah, A and Kwankye, S. O. (2011). “Migration and Population Dynamics: Changing Community Formations in Ghana”, Migration Studies Technical Paper Series 2. Centre for Migration Studies: Legon.
[48] Zimbabwe Migration Profile (2010). Migration in Zimbabwe: Country Profile. Harare: Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT)




How to Cite

Thebe, P. (2019). DETERMINANTS OF FEMINIZATION OF MIGRATION IN TSHOLOTSHO DISTRICT OF ZIMBABWE . Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(10), 297–306.