Cross-border Migration and Gender Boundaries in Central Eastern Europe – Female Perspectives


  • Ágnes Erőss Geographical Institute Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences
  • Monika Mária Váradi Institute for Regional Studies, CERS Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Doris Wastl-Walter University of Bern



cross-border migration, gender roles, Central Eastern Europe, dual-earner model, gender boundaries


In post-Socialist countries, cross-border labour migration has become a common individual and family livelihood strategy. The paper is based on the analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with two ethnic Hungarian women whose lives have been significantly reshaped by cross-border migration. Focusing on the interplay of gender and cross-border migration, our aim is to reveal how gender roles and boundaries are reinforced and repositioned by labour migration in the post-socialist context where both the socialist dual-earner model and conventional ideas of family and gender roles simultaneously prevail. We found that cross-border migration challenged these women to pursue diverse strategies to balance their roles of breadwinner, wife, and mother responsible for reproductive work. Nevertheless, the boundaries between female and male work or status were neither discursively nor in practice transgressed. Thus, the effect of cross-border migration on altering gender boundaries in post-socialist peripheries is limited.

Author Biographies

Ágnes Erőss, Geographical Institute Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences

PhD, research fellow

Monika Mária Váradi, Institute for Regional Studies, CERS Hungarian Academy of Sciences

senior research fellow

Doris Wastl-Walter, University of Bern

professor emerita


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How to Cite

Erőss, Ágnes, Váradi, M. M., & Wastl-Walter, D. (2020). Cross-border Migration and Gender Boundaries in Central Eastern Europe – Female Perspectives . Migration Letters, 17(4), 499–509.