Contextualities of gender in Eritrean immigrant households: Exploring empowerment through integration in Norwegian society
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 2022, 76 (3), 135-148. 10.1080/00291951.2022.2080585
The article presents a contextual understanding of immigration and integration in Norwegian society from a gender perspective by capturing the experiences of Eritrean immigrant households when adapting to social change and an unfamiliar gender regime. Theories of empowerment and social integration are used to interpret the gender dimensions, and to examine Eritrean families’ post-migration gender relations and the interaction between conventional and egalitarian norms in expectations regarding the roles and social participation of women and men. A qualitative research design was used, involving in-depth interviews, participant observation, and informal discussions. The findings revealed that Eritrean immigrants’ gender relations in Norwegian society were dynamic, due to the opportunities and constraints they faced in the private and public spheres. Women’s ability to challenge patriarchal power relations was due to their adoption of Norwegian mainstream norms that determined their agency and empowerment in society. Also, social inclusion for Eritrean immigrants wes often dependent on social networks that aided their integration into society and was differentiated by gender. The authors conclude that the realities of women’s empowerment were heterogeneous and subjectively influenced by male gender ideologies, relevant education and language skills, access to desirable social networks, satisfactory paid work, and decisive welfare regulations.