© 2018

Gender and Mobility in Africa

Borders, Bodies and Boundaries

  • Kalpana Hiralal
  • Zaheera Jinnah
  • Explores migration as both an opportunity to redefine gendered norms and as an experience of risk

  • Presents nuanced, empirically based insights on multiple forms, and functions of gender in African societies

  • Analyses the perception of boundaries, both physical and imagined, within the narrative of mobility in Africa

  • Outlines connections and disparities between forms of movements, across and beyond Africa under conditions of colonialism, apartheid and independence

  • Critiques conceptualisations of borders – national, personal and time bound – which seek to control, restrict and impose conditions and norms


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Elsa Oliveira, Jo Vearey
    Pages 121-138
  3. Fatima Ait Ben Lmadani
    Pages 175-185
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 257-259

About this book


This volume examines gender and mobility in Africa though the central themes of borders, bodies and identity. It explores perceptions and engagements around ‘borders’; the ways in which ‘bodies’ and women’s bodies in particular, shape and are affected by mobility, and the making and reproduction of actual and perceived ‘boundaries’; in relation to gender norms and gendered identify.  Over fourteen original chapters it makes revealing contributions to the field of migration and gender studies. Combining historical and contemporary perspectives on mobility in Africa, this project contextualises migration within a broad historical framework, creating a conceptual and narrative framework that resists post-colonial boundaries of thought on the subject matter. This multidisciplinary work uses divergent methodologies including ethnography, archival data collection, life histories and narratives and multi-country survey level data and engages with a range of conceptual frameworks to examine the complex forms and outcomes of mobility on the continent today. Contributions include a range of case studies from across the continent, which relate either conceptually or methodologically to the central question of gender identity and relations within migratory frameworks in Africa. This book will appeal to researchers and scholars of politics, history, anthropology, sociology and international relations.


Sociology Migration Immigration Anthropology Post-colonial Feminist Refugee Performativity Domestic Violence Human Trafficking Motherhood Identity

Editors and affiliations

  • Kalpana Hiralal
    • 1
  • Zaheera Jinnah
    • 2
  1. 1.Historical StudiesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.African Centre for Migration & SocietyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

About the editors

Kalpana Hiralal is Associate Professor of History at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Zaheera Jinnah is an anthropologist and researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg, Africa, and Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada.

Bibliographic information