The Feminization of Labor Migration from Georgia: The Case of Tianeti

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Tamar Zurabishvili
Tinatin Zurabishvili

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Abstract

In 2006, we performed a census of all 1,061 households of Tianeti, an immigrant-sending community in North-Eastern Georgia, and conducted 23 in-depth interviews with returned emigrants, family members of current emigrants, and prospective emigrants. The overall number of emigrants was 413, or 13.5% of Tianeti’s permanent population. Only 32% of emigrants were male. Due to poor economic conditions, a shortage of well-paid jobs, and a lack of social services, emigration from Tianeti is almost exclusively labor-oriented. Unlike the national average, emigration is mostly toward Western Europe, Israel, and the United States. The paper analyzes the socio-economic profile of emigrants from Tianeti and investigates the reasons for the feminization of labor emigration from this community: (1) social acceptance of female labor; (2) increased demand for female labor in target countries; (3) avoidance of identity checks in target countries; (4) a sense of responsibility for the family. In Russian, summary in English.

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