The gender implications of the European Community Free Movement of Persons provisions
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This thesis was carried out as part of a wider comparative study that was funded by the University of Plymouth and the Equal Opportunities Unit of the European Commission. Researchers from Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden participated in this study. This thesis is based on the research that was earned out in London for which the author was solely responsible. The impetus for this research was to explore the implications for women of a largely unexplored aspect of European Community (EC) legislation. A lot of attention has focused on EC equal opportunities legislation but very little has been written about the impact of other more fundamental aspects of European Community legislation on women. This thesis therefore makes an important contribution to the EC gender equality debate by providing an understanding of the Free Movement of Persons Provisions - which serve as the basis for European citizenship - from a gender perspective. This research is based on three components; secondary data analysis, in particular the Labour Force Survey and a literature review of migration studies and issues concerning women and citizenship. The investigation also involves an analysis of primary, secondary and case law relating to the Free Movement of Persons provisions. The main empirical element of this research is an analysis of fifty in-depth life history interviews with European Union national women who had migrated to Great Britain and who were living in London in 1995. This thesis exposes the limitations of existing data sources and migration literature concerning the nature and process of migration for this group of women. It is argued that migration has been reported as a male phenomenon, which has perpetuated a myth, that migration is a male rather than female affair. A discussion of citizenship issues at a national level reveals the secondary citizenship status of women. These gendered assumptions about migration and the operation of citizenship rights are echoed in the way in which the Free Movement of Persons provisions have been developing and are at odds with the European Union's commitment to gender equality.
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