On 20 February 2019, SEESOX hosted a seminar by Dr Julie Vullnetari (University of Southampton), entitled Gendering Remittances: Women`s Empowerment in Albania. The Discussant was Emre Eren Korkmaz (Department of International Development, Oxford) and the Chair Alev Ozkazanc (St Antony`s College, Oxford).
In her presentation, Vullnetari first gave a general statistical picture of the state of family remittances worldwide, then explaining the Albanian context of migration, drawing on her long-term research and academic engagement in the country. Finally, she went through the key findings of the research project she had conducted in 2007-2009, together with Prof. Russell King, for UN-Women.
Albania is one of the most interesting case studies given the massive scale of internal and international migration after the 1990s (9% of its resident population lost since 1989, mainly to Greece and Italy) and the significance of family remittances as a share of the country’s GDP. As regards the fiscal and economic significance of the remittances, she noted that the total amount was €1. 16 bn in 2017, or 10.8% of Albania`s GDP. At a micro-level, existing research has found that financial remittances constitute as much as 42% of recipient households` total income in the surveyed sample.