Emma Ratia and Catrien Notermans
The aim of this article is to study the impact of deportation on women’s lives, via the narrated experiences of Nigerian women deported from the European Union. It focuses on women’s stories about the period prior to their travel to Europe and their motivations for doing so; on stories about the journey and their experiences as migrants; and finally on stories about their deportation and their life after returning home to Nigeria. By taking this three-step approach and by focusing on deportees’ experiences, the authors want to contribute to an emic understanding of deportation in which gender and kinship play a crucial part. The obligation to migrate is a social as well as an economic duty for women in the Nigerian context. Whereas anthropological studies have so far focused on deportees’ feelings of non-belonging, this article shows that women’s experiences of deportation are highly connected to family belonging.