Gender and Migration

Currently, women constitute almost half of the 244 million people who live and work outside their countries of birth (UNWomen 2015).  In recent years, there has been an increase in the autonomous migration of women for work, particularly in feminized labour sectors. The feminization of migration has increased international migration of women where female labour is more concentrated in occupations that are traditionally associated with specific gender roles. Many women participate in low-skilled jobs such as manufacturing, agriculture and the global care chain. Throughout their journey in source, transit and destination countries, women face numerous challenges. Employment restrictions, deskilling prevalent in gendered labour markets, stigma around migrant women in both source and destination countries, limited financial inclusion, and lack of social protection. This is often compounded by gender blind policies that overlook the costs incurred by women migrant workers and the positive contributions they make to source and destination countries.  Conversations about migration should recognize that all aspects of migration are gendered and all women migrants are workers. Because women experience migration differently to men, the policies, practices and programmes that interact with labour migration need to reflect these differences. Our research strives to advance the mainstreaming of gender into migration policy through the lens of human rights. It examines the experiences and rights of women migrant workers throughout the migration process, the disproportionate impacts faced by refugee women, the implication of the global care chain, and the feminization of labour sectors.


 

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(UN Photo)