Approximately fifty (50) percent of the ninety-five (95) million international migrants are women, according to a new United Nations report. Women are increasingly migrating across national borders to earn money in the service and domestic help industries. The UN Population Fund also found that women migrants are more vulnerable than men to human rights abuses and to being exploited.
Each year, millions of women working abroad send hundred of millions of dollars in remittance back to their homes and communities. These contributions feed and educate children, provide health care and generally improve living standards for the family left behind.
Study shows that female migrant workers play a greater role than men in reducing poverty in the developing world.
The International Organization of Migration (IOM) reports that Bangladeshi women working in the Middle East send home seventy-two (72) per cent of their earnings on average. For receiving countries, the contribution of women migrants can quite literally transform the quality of life.
Domestic work is a major driver of international female labor migration. Women are increasingly migrating across national borders to earn money in the ever-booming service and domestic sectors.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) states that the Philippines alone has sent approximately 1.5 million overseas foreign workers throughout the Asian region- the majority of whom are female domestic workers. The impact of poverty, unemployment and family obligations are pushing these women to become migrant workers in foreign lands.
For many women, migration open doors to a new world of opportunity, relief from oppression and the chance to achieve social equality. At the same time, migration comes at a cost, because migration also has its dark side. Relevant-data shows that women are more likely to be exploited, work long hours, and suffer poor health and living conditions. And as female they are more likely to be sexually and physically abused.
Women who are desperate to find work are easy prey for traffickers. Many trafficking victims are young women in search of employment. Trafficked women are usually forced into sex work, domestic or sweatshop labor.
For a long time, the issue of women migrants has been low on the international policy agenda. Just a few weeks ago (September 14-16), government representatives from around the globe attended a conference held by the United Nations, which specifically devoted the entire session to migration.
For the first time ever, the world is ensuring that their voices are being heard, their hard work recognized and their human rights protected.