The possibility of better economic opportunities weighed heavily in the decision to migrate for some girls, in line with findings of previous studies showing increasing numbers of African women and girls “migrating independently for work and education.” When successful, migration can be empowering for girls and young women, allowing them to access education and employment; it can improve equality and norms around the capabilities and roles of women and men, girls and boys; and it can enable them to make independent decisions and escape family control, which can entail harmful practices. Migration can offer adolescent girls the possibility and promise of opportunity to fully enjoy their human rights as they enter adulthood. Many girls spoke not only of their desire to better their own lives but to support their families as well.
In some cases, young women, some forced into early marriages and with young children of their own, made the difficult decision to leave their children in the care of others and migrate. According to Pauline, 23, a young Cameroonian woman in Tunisia, women initiate the migration decision, driven by financial desperation and lack of opportunity in their home country.
from: “Girls on the move in North Africa” (SAVE THE CHILDREN)