Over the last few decades 'globalisation' or perhaps more accurately, 'transnationalisation' has prompted a huge wave of immigration that is occurring globally and in turn exposed many and various facets of 'transnationalism'. The United Nations estimates that in 2005 approximately 3 per cent of the world's population, or about 191 million people, lived in a country other than the one in which they were born, with the majority of this movement being towards the West. In particular, Australia, the United States of America and Canada have been and remain significant receivers of immigration flows (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2006). However, within mainstream migration debates and research gender has been and generally continues to be marginalised (Pessar and Mahler 2003: 812). This is particularly concerning because gender is a key force in the shaping of human life and therefore it cannot be written out of debates on migration and the policy settings that frame and influence them.