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Female Migrants: Bridging the Gaps throughout the Life Cycle. Selected papers of the UNFPA-IOM Expert Group Meeting, New York, 2-3 May 2006.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006. 136 p.Women make up nearly half of all migrants, an estimated 95 million of 191 million people living outside their countries of origin in 2005. Having said this, after many years of observing migration and collecting data there is remarkably little reliable information about women as migrants. This anomaly underlines their continuing invisibility to policymakers and development planners. The High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development by the General Assembly on 14-15 September 2006 offers the best opportunity in a generation to address the rights, needs, capabilities and contribution of women migrants. Equal numbers do not confer equality of treatment. Women have fewer opportunities than men for legal migration; many women become irregular migrants with concomitant lack of support and exposure to risk. Whether they migrate legally or not, alone or as members of a family unit, women are more vulnerable than men to violence and exploitation. Their needs for health care, including reproductive health care, and other services are less likely to be met. They have more limited opportunities than men for social integration and political participation. Migration can be beneficial, both for women and for the countries which send and receive them. Women migrants make a significant economic contribution through their labour, both to their countries of destination and, through remittances, to their countries of origin. In societies where women's power to move autonomously is limited, the act of migration is in itself empowering. It stimulates change in women migrants themselves, and in the societies which send and receive them. In the process women's migration can become a force for removing existing gender imbalances and inequities, and for changing underlying conditions so that new imbalances and inequities do not arise. Women's voluntary migration is a powerful force for positive change in countries both of origin and of destination. (excerpt)
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1993; (34-35):102-19.As part of the preparation for the forth-coming UN International Conference on Population and Development, an expert group met in Paris, France, in November 1992 to discuss population growth and demographic structure. As part of the demographic background for the meeting provided by the UN Population Division, participants were informed that although the world population growth rate began to decline in the late 1970s, this decline has not yet resulted in declining absolute numbers, and the annual increment to the world population was not expected to decline to the level that existed in 1985 until the period 2020-25. World population increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 5.3 billion in 1990. The medium variant population projection of the UN shows world population at 6.3 billion in 2000 and 8.5 billion in 2025 (the high variant shows 9.4 billion in 2025 and the low variant shows 7.6 billion). Population aging is expected to reach unparalleled levels in 2010-20. The meeting then considered the topics of population growth and socioeconomic development, confronting poverty in developing countries, demographic impacts of development patterns, demographic and health transitions, population growth and employment, social change and the elderly in developing countries, and social development and ageing in developed countries, The expert group meeting then prepared 19 recommendations aimed at governments, social institutions, and the international community. The recommendations call for political commitment to human resources development and population and development programs, especially in least developed countries, alleviation of poverty and social inequality, and equality of access to social and health resources that will lead to reduced mortality and fertility. Governments are urged to place a high priority on education and on increasing women's access to education and to remove barriers to economic independence for women. Health-sector priorities should be reassessed to provide the most cost-effective and efficient means of providing health care, reproductive health-care programs should receive high priority, and efforts should be made to minimize the effects of HIV infection and reduce the spread of AIDS. The needs of the elderly should be met with a "safety net," which should be developed in countries with no social security programs. The elderly should be recognized as an important human resource for development, and intergenerational equity should exist to accommodate their needs, with special efforts made to help them remain in their own homes and communities. Governments should collect accurate, comprehensive, and regular data on population characteristics and trends, and the international community should facilitate the comparative analysis of such data. Training should be provided to professionals in demography and related fields in developing countries.