Testing the confinement concept via the case study of female Moroccan farmworkers in Huelva (Spain)

Abstract of the paper presented by Djemila Zeneidi at the Association of American Geographers Annual meeting as part of the Paper Session: Mobilities, Borders, and Confinement II: Mobility and Exclusion (scheduled on Friday, 4/15/2011 at 12:40 PM. Washington State Convention Center Level 6, Seattle, Washington) :

Testing the confinement concept via the case study of female Moroccan farmworkers in Huelva (Spain)

The present proposal focuses on the situation of female Moroccan farmworkers recruited to work in the Huelva (Spain) strawberry production sector. We would like to put the concept of confinement to the test for this case. Constraints on everyday movements, and processes of isolation and relegation mark the housing conditions of these women who are recruited within the framework of contratos en origen. This means that both the recruitment process and the signing of temporary work contracts take place in Morocco, and that those recruited – married women with young children – undertake to return there. In Spain, the province of Huelva, which has become a laboratory for this type of utilitarian, seasonal-work migration, benefits from  specially targeted EU financial measures. The women are housed either in the workplace – the campo, in endogenous terminology – or in immigrant workers’ hostels. These places speak volumes about the particular way in which the female Moroccan migrants are constructed as a specific category of foreigners, as potential candidates for illegal migration, and as a category whose mobility is subject to control. This emerges from an in-depth enquiry, in both Morocco and Spain, embracing the various institutional actors and women concerned.

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