Gender Concerns in South African Migration Policy

Gender concerns have been markedly lacking in the development of a new national policy on international migration to South Africa, both in the policy-making process and in the content of the Green and White Papers. Given the lessons of international experience, as well as recent advances in the understanding of the relationship between gender, migration and development, this represents a major oversight. In the further development of policy, as well as in the drafting and implementation of subsequent legislation, gender considerations must be systematically included, and great care must be taken to avoid de facto gender discrimination. This is important not merely as an issue of women’s rights, but as the only meaningful basis for a socially just, economically effective, and administratively workable policy framework in South Africa.