Rural-urban migration and gender inequality

Rural-urban migration as a cause of family inequalities for women and girls in Lake Victoria areas, Tanzania

About the project

The fact that gender relations between men and women are far from egalitarian has for quite long been scientifically undisputed. Besides, there are large urban-rural differences in living conditions. Thus, the planned research cooperation aims to contribute to understanding the differences between urban and rural regions. Initially, the focus will be on migration movements from patriarchal rural areas around Lake Victoria to neighbouring urban areas in Mwanza, Tanzania. It will be an empirical study that will explore potentially changing household relations in rural areas, as well as other socio-economic factors. The main objective of the proposed study is to examine gender relations in a patriarchal system that causes urban-rural migrations, which disadvantage rural women and girls.

The research collaboration will follow the conceptual framework of „distress migration“ together with integrated research approaches in identifying causes of distress migration and determining several aspects including situations that lead to a decision to migrate together with local factors and periods of structural change plus household and individual characteristics as well as to analyse gender differences.

The research will use neo-Marxist classical theories (Rural Urban Continuum, Concentric Zone Theory, Anomie Theory, and Social Responsibility Theory), Push-Pull Theory, gender theories, Gender Framework, and a Handbook for Gender Analysis to identify relationships among family members in patriarchal systems by some families in Lake Zone, Tanzania that force rural-urban migration, which, in turn, foster gendered social inequalities. The goal is to develop a toolkit for assessing progress on gender equality so as to identify challenges and develop policy recommendations that address migration issues. The research design will include a mixed methods approach with various data collection methods (key informant interviews, focus group discussions, participatory research appraisal, questionnaires, and documentary reviews). Relevant sampling methods, especially non-probability sampling methods will be used. Equally important, data collection will be preceded by a three-week pilot study.