New Report: 2004 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development
Monday, April 25, 2005 10:15 AM

In 2000, 49% of the world’s migrants were women or girls. To address this important statistic the Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations recently released a report on women and international migration.

The report analyzes the ways in which migration empowers women. Migration works to remove women from places where they live under traditional, patriarchal authority to situations where they can maintain more independent lifestyles. Also analyzed are the important economic contributions migrant women make to both countries of destination and of origin.

Alongside some of the more positive aspects of migration exists a number of problems. For example, many national laws on migration include discriminatory provisions, affecting the wellbeing of migrant women and girls. In addition, many migrant women and girls face increased sexual violence and exploitation, as traditional communal support networks break down and dependency on aid skews power relations in camp situations. Further, migration contributes to the problem of trafficking in humans and affects the health and wellbeing of women and girls. Women and girls are exposed to a number of infectious diseases, post traumatic stress disorder and other physical and mental health problems with insufficient access to health services and insurance.

In response to the issues raised above, the report offers a number of recommendations that may work to improve the lives of migrant women and girls. Some of the recommendations include: The ratification and implementation of all international legal instruments that promote and protect the rights of migrating women and girls; review of national emigration and immigration laws and policies to identify the discriminatory provisions therein; the development of policies that enhance migrant refugee and trafficked women’s livelihoods and education and communication programs to inform migrant women of their rights; and the gender-specific collection of data and dissemination of information that will allow policy makers and advocates to better understand the phenomenon.

Please click here to read the report.

Compiled from: 2004 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, Women and International Migration, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for the Advancement of Women, United Nations, 2005.