Social Inequality and Social Mobility: The Construed Diversity of Ethiopian Female Labor Migrants in Djibouti

  • Meron Zeleke Eresso Addis Ababa University
Keywords: Djibout, Ethiopia, Female migrants, Social class, Social inequality


Discussions about female labor migrants from the Horn of Africa are often
loaded with accounts describing them as a homogenized group of destitute
people on the move. Such trends of homogenization often hide the diverse social
classes within these groups and the differential access co-nationals have across
such social classes. Moreover, such discourses conceal the differences in
migrants’ migration trajectories and related variances in their overall
integration processes. This paper accentuates the heterogeneity of the social
classes of Ethiopian female migrants and argues that the term Ethiopian female
migrant is a parasol that often obscures the diverse and highly stratified migrant
group. By going beyond this dominant trend of homogenization, this study
addresses how differential access to economic resources, different social
characteristics of migrants, and migrants’ settlement patterns impact migrants’
networks and their status within the larger Ethiopian female migrant group.

Author Biography

Meron Zeleke Eresso, Addis Ababa University

Associate Professor of Social Anthropology and Editor in Chief of the Ethiopian Journal of
Human Rights, Addis Ababa University, Center for Human Rights