Female Migration in Lesotho: Determinants and Opportunities

74 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2018

See all articles by Ioana Alexandra Botea

Ioana Alexandra Botea

Independent

Nell Compernolle

Independent

Shubha Chakravarty

World Bank - Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PRMVP)

Date Written: January 18, 2018

Abstract

Migration, internal and external, continues to be a dominant livelihood strategy for households in Lesotho, with almost half (43 percent) of households reporting at least one member living away. The past decade has seen a sharp increase in female migration, due to a halt in new hires of Basotho men in South African mines and a concomitant expansion of jobs primarily for women in the export garment sector in Maseru and Maputsoe. This study analyzes female migration using three waves of the Demographic and Health Survey (2004, 2009, and 2014) as well as primary data collected by the research team in March-April 2015. The findings indicate that female migration in Lesotho is primarily driven by economic "push" (rather than "pull" ) factors, often due to shocks to the household, such as job loss, death, or bad crops. Migrants are often seen as "strugglers" and their households of origin are just as poor as rural households with no migrants. Moreover, the study finds conclusive evidence that women's employment in sectors dominated by migrants is strongly correlated with HIV/AIDS: 55 percent of women working in garment factories and 38 percent of domestic workers are HIV positive, as opposed to the national average of 30 percent. These findings point to three policy recommendations to support female migrants and their families: (i) lower the barriers to secondary education in rural areas, (ii) diversify and expand employment opportunities for men and women, and (iii) provide HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to garment factory workers as well as migrants working in the informal sector.

Keywords: Technology Industry, Technology Innovation, Gender and Economic Policy, Gender and Economics, Economics and Gender, Gender and Poverty

Suggested Citation

Botea, Ioana Alexandra and Compernolle, Nell and Chakravarty, Shubha, Female Migration in Lesotho: Determinants and Opportunities (January 18, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8307. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3105073

Ioana Alexandra Botea (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Nell Compernolle

Independent

No Address Available
United States

Shubha Chakravarty

World Bank - Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PRMVP) ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
149
PlumX Metrics