In 2010, 49% of the 214 million migrants in the world will be women, i.e. 107 million of female migrants.
Today, women represent nearly half of the world's international migrants.
There are 95 million female migrants. These women leave their country for different reasons: to join their husband, to flee political or religious persecutions, to seek a more favourable economic situation, etc. In France 4 female migrants categories can be distinguished: illegal immigrants facing high insecurity highly qualified international elites, women employed as home help and small traders. A major migration reason stays that families want to join their relatives working abroad. However, women emigrate more and more alone, looking for work and autonomy. This concerns the last two categories. Home help seize the integration opportunity offered by the “ethnical niches”: French services providers, who hire multinational staffs. As for small traders, they fit into international transactions and use their native country network to import accessories, clothing and cosmetic products into their living country.
Other migrants are often excluded from professional integration. They then face a highly insecure situation.“Women and girls, especially when forced to migrate or when in an irregular situation, are disproportionately affected by the risks of migration because of their vulnerability to exploitation and violence”, said International Office of Migrations (OIM) Deputy Director General, Ndioro Ndiaye, on the occasion of International Woman's Day.
Among these illegal migrants are the prostitutes. Today human traffic, one of the most profitable criminal activities, concerns 2.5 to 4 million people, of whom 80% are women and children. Europe is the major receptor for prostitution: 80% of the prostitutes on the continent are foreigners. Without papers or rights, they are extremely vulnerable and more than exploited by prostitution networks.Recent European studies reveal that the lack of legal status (e.g. in cases of undocumented aliens) keeps these women from accessing prenatal care and raises the risk of physical and sexual abuse against them. This phenomenon is all the more disturbing since these women are more prone to unwanted pregnancies, because they are subjected to sexual abuse, and have no access to family planning or education.
Sources: International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Le Monde, April, 7, 2010; Le Nouvel Observateur, November, 12, 2010.