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Dossier Genre et mobilités au Yémen et dans la Corne de l’Afrique

Special issue on Gender and Mobility in Yemen and the Horn of Africa

Marina de Regt, Blandine Destremau et Stéphanie Latte Abdallah
Cet article est une traduction de :
Genre et mobilités au Yémen et dans la Corne de l’Afrique

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  • 1 Thanks to the cooperation of the CEFAS, the ESO, the Institut français du Caire, the CNRS, IREMAM, (...)

1The three articles collected in this issue were presented at the international conference “Gender Transformations in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa”, organized by Blandine Destremau (Interdisciplinary Laboratory For Economic Sociology, LISE-CNRS, National Centre for Scientific Research), Stéphanie Latte Abdallah (Research and Studies Institute on the Arab and Muslim World, IREMAM-CNRS), Najet Sayim (Sana’a University) and Michel Tuchscherer (CEFAS) 16-17 November 2011 at the French Institute in Cairo1. This conference, which was meant to take place in Yemen in July 2011, aimed to bring together scholars working on gender and social change in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. However, due to the political instability in Yemen, the conference had to take place in Cairo instead. It was a great success, with more than twenty five participants from Yemen, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. The papers presented covered a wide variety of issues, ranging from public policies and development to employment policies and migrations, ethnicity and nationality, gender rights and relations, and subjectivities. This latest edition of the Chroniques Yéménites features an initial selection of contributions focusing on the theme of mobility in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. A second selection about “Gender Transformations in the Arabian Peninsula” will be published in the first issue of Arabian Humanities. International Journal of Social Sciences and Archaeology which will be launched in March 2013.

2The three articles presented here deal with the Horn of Africa and uncover aspects that had hitherto not been discussed. Historically, Yemen and the Horn of Africa have long-standing relations affecting populations on both sides of the Red Sea. However, scholarly study of the two regions is still characterized by a strong sense of methodological nationalism. In Yemeni studies relatively little attention is paid to the historical relationship with Africa. Most studies that deal with Yemeni out-migration focus on migration to Asia, Europe and the United States. In African studies the relationship between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is mainly discussed in relation to Islam.

3In her article Marina de Regt focuses on two groups of Ethiopian women who have migrated to Yemen since the 1960s. The first group is formed by women who married Yemeni men in Ethiopia, and who returned with them to Yemen after the revolution in the 1960s. The second group consists of women who came to Yemen as labour migrants in the 1990s and 2000s. De Regt analyses their experiences in the light of the current discussion on gender and globalization, arguing that, regardless of how they migrated, women’s narratives still show agency.

4Connie Christiansen also uses narratives in her article about return migration from East Africa. She analyses the narratives of three professionals of Yemeni descent who were born and brought up in East Africa. These people “returned” to Yemen in various periods of Yemen’s modern history, mainly as a result of the changing status in Africa. Christiansen argues that gendered practices and ideals in particular set these return migrants apart from Yemenis who have not lived abroad.

5Giovanna Trento takes us across the Red Sea to Ethiopia. Her article sheds light on another little-known part of history, namely the children born from Ethiopian women and Italian men residing in Ethiopia during the Italian occupation. Based on fieldwork, in depth-interviews and archival work, Trento shows that the ways these children of mixed descent were, and still are, looked down upon is largely a result of the persistent memory of the Italian occupation.

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1 Thanks to the cooperation of the CEFAS, the ESO, the Institut français du Caire, the CNRS, IREMAM, LISE and the Agence universitaire de la francophonie, as well as the Universities of Sana’a, Aden and Djibouti, LOVA (the Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology), and the CEDEJ.

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Référence électronique

Marina de Regt, Blandine Destremau et Stéphanie Latte Abdallah, « Special issue on Gender and Mobility in Yemen and the Horn of Africa », Chroniques yéménites [En ligne], 17 | 2012, mis en ligne le 02 février 2013, consulté le 27 septembre 2023. URL : ; DOI :

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Marina de Regt

VU, University of Amsterdam

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Blandine Destremau


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Stéphanie Latte Abdallah


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