Migration & gender equality, Globalization

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 20:00 to Friday, June 4, 2010 - 20:00
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Women In Development Europe

WIDE´s 2010 Annual Conference will be hosted by AUR (Karat Coalition member organization) co-organised with KARAT coalition. The WIDE Annual Conference will allow migrant women and other women from Europe, CIS countries, Latin America, Asia and Africa to come together, to share experiences and actively learn from each other

1. Aim of the Conference

The main objectives of the Conference are:

  • to create a space forinclusive and critical dialogues on how, in times of crises, migration, trade, economic development and globalization have an impact on women´s lives;
  • to explore and initiate with women migrant groups a dialogue that will feed into WIDE´s day to day work;
  • to create a space to exchange good experiences and to gather evidence and theoretical insights on how we can ensure that the economic, cultural, political and social rights of migrant women are protected;
  • to create a space for critical assessment of EU policies around migration as they intersect with trade and development policies and impact on policies of European governments;
  • to set out recommendations that will strengthen the advocacy work of WIDE and other Civil Society fora that promote women´s human rights;
  • to highlight on effective strategies for influencing policies of European institutions and governments in Europe;
  • to contribute to the development of alternatives to the current globalised neo-liberal economic system.

1.a. The major themes of the Conference

The Conference will be policy oriented and inclusive -interactive, intersectional and multicultural ­with the following main themes to be considered throughout discussions and deliberations: - The lack of coherence between European policy on migration and European trade and development policies and the negative impact this is having on the protection of economic, cultural, social and political (ECSP) rights of migrant women worldwide. - The protection of the ECSP rights of migrant women through the discussion of political strategies and synergies, identifying entry points for advocacy and putting forward rights-based policy options.

The Conference will establish connections with ongoing and past work of WIDE, in particular with the debates of the WIDE 2006 Conference´What state are we in? Women's lives, changing states, expanding markets´ and WIDE´s 2009 Conference ´We care! Feminist responses to the care crisis?´.

2. About the Organisers

This year´s Conference marks the 25th anniversary of the European network WIDE. With its long history of movement-building around gender equality, development, human rights and trade policies, WIDE is in a unique position to address women´s migration in connection to trade and development. This year´s Conference is organised in joint collaboration with KARAT Coalition and AUR . AUR will bring to the Conference their 10 years of experience as NGO working to promote human rights in a South-Eastern European country which has been greatly affected by globalization and migratory movements. The KARAT coalition is now firmly established as a very strong network that puts the concerns and needs of women from Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) in the forefront of the international arena.

3. Rationale ´Women´s Human Rights at risk: migration in the global economy´

The percentage of female migration as part of the overall migration has changed modestly since the 1960s. Women today account for almost half of the migrant population globally and female migration patterns have changed, with more women migrating as ´autonomous´ actors - a trend that is called the feminization of migration. Migration is a gendered process, with gendered modes and paths, gendered interests and motivations, gendered forms of remittances and use of remittances in the receiving households, etc.

Many women choose to migrate to improve their living conditions (and of those in their care), as a way to deal with poverty and multiple discriminations. They can become empowered through their migration. This is demonstrated by the higher degree of physical and economic independence some of them gain abroad. They can gain self-esteem by becoming family providers. However, migration also takes, in many cases, a heavy toll on women. Women may jeopardize their health and safety - by subjecting their bodies to physical work under poor conditions and by making their bodies vulnerable to all kinds human rights violations (for example, violence through trafficking). Furthermore, the societies of origin of these women can stigmatize them as women who leave their children and do not fulfill the patriarchal ideology of true motherhood.

For further information about the conference, please visit WIDE