Migration and Gender

by Mayu Shibata

Migrants have to live in a harsh situation in host communities and in case of female they have double disadvantages as foreigner and female and they are more likely than male migrants to be exploited and excluded. There’s a phrase ‘feminization of migration’ which has been used since 1990s. It indicates the increase of female migrants and those female migrants have become individual and independent, not as wives. They migrate to foreign countries on their own.

The number of Filipino and Sri Lankan women who migrate to the Middle East has now increased and most of them engage in housekeeping called domestic helper. They live in master’s house and do the house work. They usually have only one day off in a week. In Japan many Filipinos come in as entertainers and actually work at pubs and clubs. These domestic and entertaining works don’t always come with appropriate protection of human rights. Only because they are female and migrants they are in twice as vulnerable situation as the others. They are more likely to be sexually exploited and through the violence they might be in fatal circumstances like diseases and injury.

However, they still have to migrate to other countries despite the harsh facts. They might have families to care for in homelands and the families need her remittances to live on. They desperately seek for money and chances and they have no way other than migration. Simple restriction of their migration only suffers them and never save them as long as there is no working opportunities in their homelands. Some of them get higher status in families to migrate to other countries and earn money. It’s one of the ways those women become independent in those traditional but conservative style of their homelands. We cannot deprive them of chances to migrate. The possibility of migration must be equally suggested to them, too. However, it’s a problem that they are forced to migrate from other harsh facts such as unemployment as well. They should have free access to migration. Yet the choice should be made on their own.

This problem has been common between developed countries and developing countries. However, as developing countries achieve their economic growing, the number of migrants from less developed countries to developing countries has increased. Now they have the same problem.

MDGs suggests migrants’ problem to be improved by 2015. But it’s getting worse and worse. Because it involves many issues it might not be solved easily but resolution is required now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s