For migration to be a choice and not a necessity, it is critical to reduce the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin, including economic, environmental and social crises, armed conflict, poverty and forms of unsustainable development that displace communities and people.
Deeply entrenched gender inequalities—such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including female genital mutilation, and harmful practices such as forced and early marriage, unequal access to capital, land and other resources and lack of education, decent work and social protection as well as restrictive gender roles—can influence the decision of women and girls to migrate. They are often excluded from decision-13 making processes and shoulder the majority of unpaid care work, which reduces their ability to engage in paid employment.
The disproportionate impact of climate change on women, as well as the impact of extractive industries, may compel them to migrate in search of livelihoods elsewhere. Discrimination based on gender, race and ethnicity creates both economic and security risks for some women and may lead them to migration. Women human rights defenders and community activists may also have to flee when they are targeted for retaliation.
- Equality before the law, equal protection of the law and equal access to justice
- The elimination of gender-based discrimination in education, employment, political participation, health care and socioeconomic and cultural life
- Recognition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 as a critical priority in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and development and implementation of laws and policies in line with SDG 5
- Recognition of the specificities of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and migration status when developing and implementing gender-responsive legislation
- National laws, policies and action plans that prevent and address all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, and access to essential services for survivors of SGBV independent of migration status
- Strategies and policies that promote the recognition, remuneration and redistribution of unpaid domestic and care work.
- Elimination of laws and practices, inclusive of customary laws, that criminalize women and children who are survivors of SGBV
- Policies and laws that prohibit child, early and forced marriage
- National laws, policies and action plans that ensure equal, free and inclusive access to primary and secondary education for all children
- Equal and inclusive access to gender-responsive vocational training, skills recognition and development programmes
- Employment laws and policies that promote decent work, equality of opportunity and treatment in the labour market, linked with opportunities for training and further learning, including for women migrant workers in the informal economy
- Policies and laws guaranteeing equal access for women and men to natural and economic resources, including access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, productive assets, financial services, bank accounts, insurance and inheritance
- Policies and laws that facilitate women’s equal representation in decision-making in the world of work, politics, media, law enforcement, climate change and peace processes
- Gender-responsive protection mechanisms to facilitate the work and safety of women human rights defenders and community activists
- Gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and climate resilience strategies that reduce the disproportionate impact of natural disasters, climate change and environmental degradation on women and girls
- COVID-19: Inclusion of migrant women in national and local COVID-19 crisis response and recovery plans across all sectors of work, including domestic work and informal work