More women, men, boys and girls worldwide are moving in search of new opportunities and better lives. Some are forced to move due to conflict and disasters; others are trafficked or forced for various reasons; and some are migrating in search of new income possibilities.
It is recognised that a person’s sex, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation shape every stage of the migration experience. Gender dimensions are central to why people move and its consequences. Gender intersects with the person's sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as other factors such as disability. It shapes these persons' experiences, including risks such as gender-based violence, relationships and access to resources. Migration and displacement furthermore influence gender roles and relations.
It is vital to understand how gender affects migration and displacement to respond in the most efficient way. Using a human rights-based approach with meaningful participation, inclusive approaches to involve the affected populations are crucial to combat poverty, enhance sustainable development and effective implementation of the EU Gender Action Plan (GAP III). This event will highlight the gender dimensions of migration and displacement in order to share best practices and evidence from the latest research.
- the EU's international role | international cooperation
- torsdag 7 september 2023, kl. 11.00 - 12.30 (CEST)
- torsdag 7 september 2023, kl. 11.00 - 12.30 (CEST)
- InfoPoint and Webex Meetings
- International Partnerships InfoPoint
Gender influences the reasons for migrating, who migrates and to where, how people migrate and the networks they use, opportunities and resources available at destinations, and relations with the country of origin. Risks, vulnerabilities and needs are also shaped in large part by one’s gender, and often vary drastically for different groups. The roles, expectations, relationships and power dynamics associated with being a man, woman, boy or girl, and whether one identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI), significantly affect all aspects of the migration process, and can also be affected in new ways by migration.
Men and women are exposed to different types of risk and vulnerability during the different stages of migration. Due to their status in society and their sex, women and girls are particularly subject to discrimination and sexual and gender-based violence – which may of themselves be grounds for flight – and have specific protection risks and needs that may be overlooked in reception procedures. Moreover, the aspect of trafficking often overlooks the vast number of boys and men also being sold and modern slavery. In addition, failure to take due account of gender issues in asylum systems and integration measures may lead to discriminatory outcomes. Other factors, including age and sexual orientation, also affect vulnerability and needs.
Migration and development are deeply intertwined. Development can be a driver of migration, granting people access to resources which enable them to move. At the same time, migration can drive development, such as by facilitating a global circulation of skills and remittances. Migration and mobility are key to the EU’s international partnerships and development programmes, in particular its relations with Africa, the European Consensus on Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The first speaker, Dr Monira Ahsan, will draw on her intersectional research among the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. Exploring the gendered nature of human security along the economic, food, health, environment, personal, community and political dimensions of forcibly displaced refugees in Asia. Four key findings are recommended as critical in designing policies and programmes for forcibly displaced people.
First, both gender-specific needs, as well as the underlying gender relations, are significantly critical, considering that these relations can be changed during displacement and or as a result of humanitarian-development interventions.
Second, an intersectional analysis of gender with other indicators such as age, class, education, ability, location, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and other contextual indicators that cause disadvantages need to be addressed, which requires collecting disaggregated data and structural gender-sensitive analysis of the multilayered human security situation of the subjective experiences and perceptions of forcibly displaced people.
Third, various dimensions of human security are interconnected and therefore require an analysis of each of the seven dimensions for a holistic understanding of the refugee situations for integrated interventions across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
Fourth, the rapid improvement of communication technology implies that many aspects of migrants’ or refugees’ lives can be shaped by different actors in virtual spaces and across multiple countries, which requires a critical understanding of the forcibly displaced refugees in light of human security in the expanded and intersecting glocal (global-national-local) terrains.
The second speaker Daniel Redondo from IOM will highlight issues around gender influences reasons for migrating, who migrates and to where, how people migrate and the networks they use, opportunities and resources available at destinations, and relations with the country of origin. Risks, vulnerabilities, and needs are also shaped in large part by one’s gender, and often vary drastically for different groups across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus.
The roles, expectations, relationships and power dynamics associated with being a man, woman, boy or girl, and whether one identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI), significantly affect all aspects of the migration process, and can also be affected in new ways by migration. It is, therefore, crucial to understand how gender interacts with migration and to respond accordingly. Taking into account gender-specific migration trends can mean the difference between implementing a project that successfully addresses the specific needs and capacities of all IOM beneficiaries, and one that fails to do so and perpetuates inequality.
Given the gender-specific nature of migration, the following are central to IOM’s work: advocating for equal rights under the law in employment and mobility; combatting discriminatory migration practices; understanding how gender affects the types of migration undertaken; responding to how gender influences access to social services, economic growth, capacities, risks and vulnerabilities; ensuring diversity and inclusiveness in consultations and participation in activities; and addressing how migration influences gender roles and relations. More information can be found on www.iom.int
- Erica Gerretsen Director INTPA, G: Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace (introduction 10 min)
- Monira Ahsan, Postdoctoral Researcher, Center on Gender and Forced Displacement,
The Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
- Daniel Redondo, Regional Migrant Protection Specialist, Gender expert, IOM Regional Office in Brussels
- Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit G1 - Gender Equality, Human Rights and Democratic Governance
Language of conference: English
Language of Q&A session: English