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Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC$
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Zahra Babar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190608873.001.0001

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An Emerging Trend in Arab Migration

An Emerging Trend in Arab Migration

Highly Skilled Arab Females in the GCC Countries

Chapter:
(p.169) 8 An Emerging Trend in Arab Migration
Source:
Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC
Author(s):

Françoise De Bel-Air

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190608873.003.0008

The growing share of skilled and highly-skilled, often unmarried, young Arab women immigrating to the GCC is generally un-documented. Shedding some light on this population, therefore, will not only emphasize a new phenomenon, but it also, first, points at a new structural trend within Arab populations: the emergence of educated female professionals in Arab societies characterized by low female activity rates. Second, it challenges the dominant assumption that Arab migration to Gulf countries is a “male-only” phenomenon in which women are married dependents. This contribution aims at laying some ground to bridge the knowledge gap regarding Arab female highly-skilled workers in the Gulf. The study explores the proximate determinants—rise in age at marriage, development of female celibacy in the Arab world, expansion of female education levels—and structural conditions compelling an increasing number of Arab citizens, male and female, to seek better futures abroad. Findings, such as the widespread denial that patriarchal pressures are important factors in determining Arab female migration, question the categories used, including Arab, female, and Gulf migration patterns. The study also concludes that such partial results beg to be completed by a wider-scale survey involving highly-skilled female migrants from several Arab countries and systematically comparing their migratory patterns and experience.

Keywords:   GCC, Arab migration, Highly-skilled migrants, Female migration, Migration patterns

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