n Journal of Gender, Information and Development in Africa (JGIDA) - The vulnerability of young Zimbabwean female immigrants in Johannesburg, South Africa

Volume 8 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2050-4276
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4284



Migration continues to be on the forefront of many social and economic debates. This study addresses the case of female immigrants especially in the developed world who are not receiving sufficient attention whereas consist of a large chunk of all the immigrants. In South Africa, almost half of the immigrants are women with the majority of who are Zimbabweans. Young female immigrants are considered more vulnerable than their male counterparts. Information about their migration and experiences in the destination area remains missing in literature and policy debates due to the fact that they were considered as dependants in the migration process. Through a qualitative approach, this study aimed at investigating the vulnerability of young Zimbabwean female immigrants in Johannesburg, South Africa‘s largest city and its industrial and commercial heartland, in order to develop ways to minimise their vulnerability. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used for data collection, and Atlas.ti qualitative analysis software was used to analyse the data. The findings of this study highlighted that the young Zimbabwean female immigrants are vulnerable to abuse, discrimination, xenophobia, poor health, social and economic problems. The abuse, discrimination and xenophobia were perpetrated by their partners, the society, colleagues in the workplace, employers, and the authorities who are supposed to protect and provide services for these immigrants. The study calls for collaborative effort of individuals (local people and immigrants) and organisations at different levels of the society, sending and receiving countries and the SADC region to work together towards minimising the vulnerability of these immigrants.

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