AFIAfrican Feminist Initiative

African Women, Gender, and Migration Conference

African Women, Gender, and Migration Conference

The African Feminist Initiative invites you to its annual conference on the theme of African Women, Gender and Immigration to explore the way the global securitization of immigration has created new patterns of (im)mobility for African women migrants. The journeys for both authorized and ‘unauthorized’ African migrants, that are the result of economic strife, civil wars, climate change, show how gender plays a crucial role in women’s migratory experiences. The aim of this conference is to address the gendered dynamics of (im)mobility and explore the ways in which African women navigate border crossing.

The main questions addressed are:

  1. How do migrant women navigate restrictive border enforcement policies?
  2. What are the resources available to them in their migratory journeys?
  3. How do practices of smuggling and trafficking affect women migrants?
  4. How do migrant women challenge ideas of cultural, religious or racial homogeneity?
  5. How do migrant women negotiate separation from family and children?
  6. What are the experiences of migrant women who travel with children?
  7. How does border crossing affect women’s reproductive and sexual health?
  8. How does age, sexuality, race and ethnicity shape women’s migratory journeys?
  9. What opportunities (economic, political, social) does migration avail women?
  10. What are the push/pull factors that precipitate African women’s migration?

L’objectif de cette conférence est d’aborder la dynamique de la (im)mobilité en fonction du genre et d’explorer les façons dont les femmes maghrebines et Africaines traversent les frontières. Si vous avez quelqu’un dans votre organization qui travaille sure ce sujet et qui peut participer, je serais reconnaissante.

Les principales questions abordées dans cette conférence sont :

  1. Comment les femmes migrantes gèrent-elles les politiques restrictives des contrôles aux frontiers?
  2. Quelles sont les ressources dont elles disposent dans leurs parcours migratoires?
  3. Comment les pratiques du trafic et de la contrebande affectent-elles les femmes migrantes?
  4. Comment définissent les femmes migrantes les idées d’homogénéité culturelle, religieuse ou raciale?
  5. Comment gèrent les femmes migrantes la séparation avec leur famille et leurs enfants?
  6. Quelles sont les expériences des femmes migrantes qui voyagent avec des enfants ?
  7. Comment le passage des frontières affecte-t-il la santé reproductive et sexuelle des femmes?
  8. Comment l’âge, la sexualité, la race et l’ethnicité impactent les parcours migratoires des femmes?
  9. Quelles opportunités (économiques, politiques, sociales), offre la migration aux femmes?
  10. Quels sont les facteurs qui incitent et précipitent la migration des femmes africaines?

For more information, contact Maha Marouan at

Flyer of African Women, Gender, and Migration Conference

Conference Schedule

June 9 - Day 1

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks (Maha Marouan)
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Leila Bouasria and Imane El Fakkaoui (Université Hassan II)
“Working at the Traffic Lights while Waiting to Cross Borders: The Trajectory of Sub-Saharan Migrants in Morocco”
Suad Musa (Independent researcher and consultant)
“Women and the Dilemma of Immigration to the Unknown: Experiences from Sudan and East Africa”
Hisham Aidi (Columbia University)
“Managing Intra-African Migration”
Nadia Fellah (Commission régionale des droits de l’Homme)
“Genre et Migration: L’experience de la Commission Regionale de Droits de L’homme”
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Chems Eddoha Boraki (Agrégée de lettres françaises, consultante free lens)
“Migrantes Africaines Soufflent elles un Renouveau au Maroc? Le cas dans Tanger”
Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso (Babcock University)
“Decolonising Studies of African Refugee Women”
Fatima Ait Ben Lmadani (Université Mohammed V)
“Femmes Migrantes en Afrique: Circulations, Itinéraires et Rapports Familiaux”
Hanan Al-Alawi (Pennsylvania State University)
“Between Land and Water: Gendered Dispossession in East Africa and the Arab Gulf”
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.

June 10 - Day 2

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Zakia Yamlahi (Initiative Marocaine pour la solidarité)
“Les Femmes Marocaines en Europe: Culture, Religion et Différence Raciale”
Tembi Charles (Pennsylvania State University)
“Myth and Superstition in Zimbabwean Migrant Fiction”
Hanane Darhour (Université Ibn Zohr)
“From Transit to Host Countries: Migration Stories of Sub-Saharan African Women in Morocco”
Yassine Yassni (Université Abdelmalek Essaadi)
“The Status of Black Women Migrants in Morocco: Color and Gender Stigmas”
11:30 – 12:30 p.m.
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Play and Workshop: Lalla Jmila by Zoubeir Ben Bouchta
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Kasbah Museums Visit
6:00 p.m.

About the Presenters

Hanan Al-Alawi

Hanan Al-Alawi is a Dual-title PhD candidate in Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research on body politics and forms of dispossession in contemporary Arabic and Persian literature the Gulf. 

Fatima Ait ben Lmadani

Fatima Ait ben Lmadani Docteur en sociologie, Fatima Ait ben lmadani est Professeure habilitée à l’Institut des Etudes africaines au sein de l’université Mohammed V –Rabat depuis juin 2010.  Elle s’intéresse aux thématiques liées à la sociologie de l’immigration et aux relations interethniques. Parmi ses publications, il convient de citer : la vieillesse illégitime ? Migrantes marocaines en quête de reconnaissance sociale, ouvrage (2018), Femmes et émigration marocaine. Entre invisibilisation et survisibilisation, pour une approche postcoloniale, Hommes et migrations, n°1300, pp. 96-103, 2012.

Leila Bouasria

Leila Bouasria is a professor and researcher of sociology in the Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Ain Chock at Hassan II University in Casablanca. She is an associate member of the Research Laboratory on Social Differentiation and Sexual Identity (LADSIS). Her research work focuses on a transversal analysis of gender relationships within different fields: employment economics, domestic work, migration, sexual division within relationships, and policies of female representation in decision-making bodies.

She is the author of the book: « Les ouvrières Marocaines en mouvement : Qui paye, qui fait le ménage et qui décide ? published in 2013 by L’Harmattan. Her other main publications include:

BOUASRIA, Leila (Cord.), 2020, Migration feminine à Casablanca: entre autonomie et précarité, Editions la croisée des chemins

BOUASRIA, L., MOUNA, Khalid, THERRIEN, C., 2017 (Dir.), Terrains Marocains, sur les traces de chercheurs d’ici et d’ailleurs, Centre Jacques Berque

Zoubeir Ben Bouchta

Zoubeir Ben Bouchta est un dramaturge marocain de Tanger. En 2005, il a crée sa propre compagnie théâtrale, « Bab Bhar Ciné Masrah » qui a produit ses pièces les plus récentes. Depuis trois ans, il se consacre à créer, dans la kasbah de Tanger, un espace culturel et artistique,Riad Sultan,dédié aux arts vivants, unique au Maroc et qui ouvrira ses portes courant 2021.

Chems eddoha boraki

Chems eddoha boraki Agrégée de littérature française, professeur chercheurs, Spécialiste de communication interculturelle et de genre, Auteure, traductrice.

Tembi Charles

Tembi Charles is a Dual Title Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature and African Studies at Penn State University. She earned a BA in English Literature, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and a Masters in English Studies from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Tembi’s main research interests are Postcolonial Studies, African Studies, sub-Saharan Migrant Literatures and African Sound Studies. Her dissertation project explores subjectivity and form in contemporary Zimbabwean Migrant Fiction. 

Hanane Darhour

Hanane Darhour is Senior lecturer of English, Gender and Politics at the Faculty of Languages, Arts and Human Sciences in Ait Melloul. She has published on women’s political empowerment, and gender based violence. She is also interested in issues related gender and migration as well as Applied Linguistics, with a particular focus on Educational Policies and the impact of technology on changing and reshaping the future of education. She is working on a forthcoming edited collection entitled “Covid 19 and the Transition to ICT-Enabled Education: Prospects and Challenges” published by FLASH-Ait Melloul in 2022. She also co-edited a book in 2020 entitled “Double-Edged Politics on Women’s Rights in the MENA Region” published by Palgrave. In 2013, she served as consultant and Morocco national researcher with the London School of Economic and Political Science on a project on “Women’s Rights and Political Participation in Morocco after the Arab Spring: Mapping of existing and new emerging political and social forces”.

Imane El Fakkaoui

Imane El Fakkaoui is a doctoral student in sociology at the Moroccan Center for Social Sciences (CM2S) in the Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Ain Chock, Hassan II University in Casablanca. Her work focuses on sub-Saharan migration in Morocco. Her doctoral project focuses on the factors that influence the integration of sub-Saharan female merchants in Casablanca. She has been a member since 2018 of the International Network of Young Researchers working on international migration through a project titled “Migration Network” at the University of Poitier, France.

Zakia elyamlahi

Zakia elyamlahi (Diplômée en psychologie Ex prof de philosophie ) Activiste féministe Presidente de l Association “Initiative marocaine pour la solidarité” Membre du bureau exécutif et coordinatrice du groupe Migration de l agglomération “Takatoul Associatif Tanger Metropol”

Nadia Fellah

Nadia Fellah Étudiante chercheure à la faculté de droit de Tanger. Cadre chargé de la protection et de la migration à la CRDH de tanger. Elle a obtenue son Master en genre et droits des femmes de la faculté des sciences juridiques économiques et sociale de Tanger.

Suad Mustafa Al-Haj Musa

Suad Mustafa Al-Haj Musa received her PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in Britain. She is the author of the 2019 Aidoo-Snyder Award-winning book “Hawks and Doves in Armed Conflict in Sudan. The Hakkamat Baggara Women of Darfur.” Researcher and writer in Arabic and English, development practitioner and activist on women’s rights, gender equality, peace and security, reconciliation and good governance. She has long experience working with civil society organizations and international NGOs including Oxfam and Save the Children in Sudan and abroad. She also worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Qatar University. She is the founder of the “Gender Centre for Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development” based in El-Fasher, Darfur, and works as an independent researcher and consultant in the field of gender, women’s rights and protection, peacebuilding and sustainable livelihoods.

Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso

Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences at Babcock University. She has published thirteen books, the most recent being The Palgrave Handbook of African Women’s Studies, and is the recipient of multiple grants and fellowships. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies (FTGS) Section of the International Studies Association (2020-2023).

Yassine Yassni

Yassine Yassni Professeur de sociologie et d’anthropologie à la Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines université Abdelmalek Esaadi-Tétouan. Il s’intéresse depuis sa thèse de doctorat a la condition des Noirs au Maroc. En 2021 et dans le cadre d’une bourse octryée par le conseil arabe des sciences sociales, il a travaillé sur le stigmate du corps noir féminin das l’imganaire national marocain. 

About the Riad Sultan

Inauguré en novembre 2021, le Riad Sultan est un espace culturel et artistique d’exception niché au cœur de la Kasbah de Tanger. L’espace qui date au XVIIIe, est l’endroit où se situaient les écuries royales. C’est aujourd’hui un théâtre de poche et un theatre de proximite, le premier du genre au Maroc. Après avoir été abandonné pendant des années, avec plusieurs personnes qui voulaient l’annexer à leurs habitations, ce fut l’initiative personnelle du dramaturge Zoubeir Benbouchta de faire revivre et défendre cet espace avec le soutien et la coopération de nombreuses institutions de la région.

Inaugurated in November 2021, Riad Sultan is an exceptional cultural and artistic space nestled in the heart of the Kasbah of Tangier. The space which dates back to XVIIIe, is where the royal stables used to be situated. It is now a community theatre, the first of its kind in Morocco. After being abandoned for years, with several people who wanted to annex it to their homes, it was the personal initiative of the playwright Zoubeir Benbouchta to revive and defend this space with the support and cooperation of many institutions from the region.