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Rahel Kunz

Since the late 1990s, remittances – the money that migrant workers send to their families or communities of origin – have become a hot topic in the international development community, which praises their miraculous potential to promote development. The gender dimensions of remittances have recently come into focus, with policy and media narratives emphasizing the empowerment potential of remittances for women and promoting women as better remitters and receivers. Approaching the issue from a feminist International Political Economy perspective, this chapter analyses two key gendered narratives on remittances within the international development community to show how these narratives normalize particular gendered forms of remittance behaviour, reproduce gender stereotypes and a heteronormative model of the transnational family, and contribute to legitimize particular gendered policy interventions. In order to move away from essentializing and behaviouralist analyses, we need to revise the ways in which we analyse the links between gender, remittances and development.