Gender differences in the role of migrant networks in Congolese and Senegalese international migration
Sorana Toma , Sophie Vause
In recent years, a growing amount of research has documented, on one hand, the influence of social networks in international migration and, on the other, important gender differences in the migration process. However, as noted by Curran and Saguy (2001), research integrating both social networks and gender issues in the analysis of migration processes has remained rare. Criticizing the general assumption that networks influence in the same way male and female mobility, the few existing studies on this topic have provided empirical evidence of a differential impact of networks on men and women prospective migrants but also of a differential influence of male and female networks (Curran & Rivero Fuentes, ‘03; Davis & Winter, ‘01; Stecklov et al., ‘08). Using recent longitudinal and comparable data collected in Senegal and DR Congo within the framework of the MAFE (Migration between African and Europe) project, our paper further investigates gender differences in the role of migrant networks. More precisely, our research has the following objectives: first, to assess the extent to which the effect of migrant networks on individual migration propensities varies with gender; second, to investigate whether men and women mobilize different types of network connections for migrating and whether they use these networks differently. Event-history modelling techniques are the main methodological tools of our paper.