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Factors Influencing Gender-Based Violence Against Young Women Migrants in Selected Provinces of South Africa

MM Kwakwa
J.C Makhubele
M.A Mabasa
T.V Baloyi
N.E Rabotata
F.K Matlakala
P Mafa
D.T Masilo


For time immemorial, migration has been a male dominated area due to the ideology that men are breadwinners and women are homestead caretakers. In recent times, African women have become part of different forms of migration, including cross-border trade, temporary and circular migration and longer-term settlement migration. The goal of this paper was to explore and describe factors promoting gender-based violence against young women migrants in selected provinces of South Africa. The researchers opted for the qualitative approach within explorative-descriptive research designs. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with six female participants using the snowball sampling technique. Findings revealed that lack of social integration, insufficient protection from law enforcement agents and work environments in which migrant women find themselves are some of the factors that make them susceptible to gender-based violence. The violence experienced by these women is aggravated by their often illegal, migrant status. Thus, it is recommended that there should be effective strategies on how to implement policies and programmes geared towards the protection of women living in South Africa, including migrants. Such policies need to be gender-specific so that the health, safety and security of migrant women should be of primary importance than their status.

Keywords: Migration, Gender-based violence, illegal, young women, South Africa