Gendering remittances: Women’s empowerment in Albania

Remittances are arguably the most researched dimension of the Migration-Development relationship. With over US$460 billion remitted to low and middle-income countries in 2017, they have captured the imagination of policy makers, especially those involved in international development, for their huge potential for development. However, little attention has been paid, in both academic research and policy circles, to how these remittances and the remitting process itself, might be gendered. Drawing on research in Albania, this talk will show how gender relations in sending countries shape the sending, receiving and decision-making around the utilisation of remittances. This is important if we are to understand how power structures and relations are negotiated between men and women in the process of migration, thus helping formulate policies that nurture gender equality and women’s empowerment. The talk will draw on research carried out in Albania during 2007-2009 for a multi-country project on Gendering Remittances and Development commissioned by UN-INSTRAW (United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women) – now UN-WOMEN, and funded by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).