This working paper examines the factors that underlie the neglect of gender and the consequences of this neglect for our understanding of migration processes and outcomes.

Migrants and the migration process are implicitly - and sometimes explicitly - assumed to be male. From analyses of economic migration and its impacts on the labour market through to assumptions about the persecution of politically active men, the description of the factors underlying migration to the UK, the experiences of migrants themselves and the costs and benefits that they bring to our society and economy are based on a model of male migration. Unfortunately, this model rarely, if ever, reflects the reality of what is actually going on.

Policy and practice relating to immigration control and management inevitably reflect and reinforce these tendencies. Whilst recent research has highlighted, in particular, the feminisation of labour flows and the need for an interpretation of the 1951 Refugee Convention that takes into account gendered experiences of persecution, the complex relationship between gender and migration remains relatively under researched or taken adequately into account in policymaking.

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