South African Migration Policy: A Gendered Analysis

The 2017 White Paper on International Migration to South Africa proposes a policy framework to guide a comprehensive review of South Africa’s international migration policy, including asylum and refugee legislation. However, the white paper makes no reference to the intersection between gender and migration, which creates a complex set of vulnerabilities and experiences for women migrants. South Africa is experiencing changing gender migration patterns that have been largely neglected by migration legislation. In failing to recognise gendered drivers and experiences of migration, its current migration system cannot mitigate and respond to the risks and vulnerabilities or harness the development potential of women migrating to South Africa. This policy insight unpacks how the white paper has failed to adequately consider gender-specific dimensions of migration. It concludes by making various recommendations regarding a gendered approach to migration.