Structural drivers of gender-specific migration

What are the motives and special challenges of women in migration, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Women migrate almost as much as men. Overall, international migration is becoming increasingly feminized as more women are migrating on their own volition, seeking economic and social opportunities and empowerment through migration. Still, women migrants face various inequalities in the form of discriminatory legal, attitudinal and governing practices.

Paola Cyment, Independent Consultant on Gender and Migration and member of Women in Migration Network (WIMN) based in Buenos Aires, Argentina looks at the structural drivers of gender-specific migration, including the relationships between capitalism, patriarchy and migration.

The feminization of migration can be linked to socioeconomic change in migrant origin countries, changes in destination-country labor markets, structural factors, and changing social attitudes. With the decline of the welfare state, many countries are also experiencing changes in their traditional family-based model of care. The insertion of women into the workforce, paired with the aging of the population, have caused a disruption in the provision of care for children, elderly, sick people, and people with disabilities. Yet most efforts at addressing such issues have focused on tweaking migration policy, rather than addressing root causes within the system.

The presentation also examines how the COVID-19 pandemic both amplifies existing gender dynamics and creates new gender-biased outcomes that disproportionately impact upon women migrant workers.

The video is part of the web seminar series "Women in Motion - The impact of gender in international migration" of the FES Gender Innovation Network.

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