Madri, mogli, badanti, studentesse: la presenza femminile tra gli stranieri a Brescia

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Mothers, wives, carers, students: the female presence among foreigners in Brescia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The process of "feminization" among migrants present in the Brescia area is slow but continuous, as we saw in 2003. The woman from developing countries proves increasingly active not only in the choice to emigrate but also in the following work, reproductive, training choices and finally in the use of services. It is a discreet presence (46.6% of the total number of migrants present: Brescia is the least feminized province in Lombardy) but solid: women are less irregular, more tied to the presence of dependent children and have more human capital high compared to the male group, so much so that the young women attend school more than their male counterparts. If it is true that they attend more often the basic social-health services, they are nevertheless "invisible" in the city: open-air gatherings, places of worship and ethnic shops, entertainment venues and telecommunications services seem to be the prerogative of a more masculine presence. Even in the workplace it is not easy to see the presence of women (1/4 of the immigrants are housewives) because most of them do a domestic job or as a cleaner without direct contact with the public. However, the stereotype that sees the immigrant woman as a "recluse" companion within domestic walls and prohibitions imposed by tradition is not correct. Many, even in the Brescia area, have put themselves (even after the crisis) in search of a job in order to ensure a safe income for themselves or their family in addition to or alternatively to the male, with a considerable effort to adapt to the context of arrival and a strong motivation to stay in Italy. The integration that they are able to achieve here depends not only on the job demand, but also on biographical and social factors: if they have had a job at home, if they have a degree already acquired, if they have the ability to move independently (even having a license can make the difference). The relationship with services, as witnessed by the foreign mothers interviewed, nevertheless represents an indispensable step in achieving personal autonomy in the management of complex daily problems and also a vehicle to broaden one's relational and support network. The aspect that most denotes the search for effective emancipation on the part of many migrant women is the "Italian language question": eg. in the regional courses implemented in the CTPs in the province of Brescia, the number of women attending courses exceeds that of men and is associated with a higher starting cultural capital; in the last year the capacity of regional courses to attract foreign users without formal education, often also illiterate (even more women than men) has increased. It can be said that training and acculturation in the host country are part of the cultural intermediation function very often assigned to the female figure who emigrates, with whom she becomes a "translator", even literally and not only symbolically, of the migration for oneself and others.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Mothers, wives, carers, students: the female presence among foreigners in Brescia
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationImmigrazione e contesti locali, Annuario CirmiB 2011-12
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2012




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