THE MIGRATION OF FOREIGN WOMEN TO RURAL CATALONIA (SPAIN) IN THE CONTEXT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES
This article analyzes the impact of the arrival of immigrants to Catalan rural areas from a gender perspective. We specifically observed the female migration routes to municipalities experiencing problems in ensuring the reproduction of their communities (depopulation, masculinization, aging, singleness, economic marginality), and suggest that these women make a remarkable contribution to their development and the revival of some of the human capital and labor lost in the process of decline that has characterized rural areas throughout the twentieth century. We noted the demographic trends and characteristics of immigration to rural areas, together with their migratory routes, expectations and the distinguishing factors of their incorporation into such a specific social, economic and cultural environment. Unlike male immigrants to these areas, who are usually employed in the primary sector, women work mainly in the service sector (hotels and tourism), in the agro-processing industry and above all, in work related to the reproductive sphere: care and attention of the aging population who because of the rural exodus, frequently lack either the family or institutional context to meet their care needs. We understand that the foreign women help to re-feminize these communities and become essential economic and social agents.