This article addresses the interrelationships between the economic crisis, international migration and the labour market, and their impact on female migration agency, both in the decision to migrate and in the subsequent possibility of return to Bolivia. Based on information collected in a large survey conducted in the city of Cochabamba and the tracing of multiple female migration trajectories, the extreme vulnerability of these women, who are the heads of single-parent households, working in elderly care in Bergamo, is shown. Despite their deteriorating working conditions in the context of current Italian economic crisis and the competition of immigrant care workers from countries of Eastern Europe, they choose to remain in Italy instead of returning to Bolivia.
Key words: Bolivia, migration, Italy, single-parent households, crisis, return, gender
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