Discrimination against women seems to occur even on the move: more and more women are engaged in ‘desperation migration,’ according to William Lacy Swing, Director of the International Organization for Migration, where they are far more likely than men to encounter physical risk and violence.
Though women migrate for many reasons, poverty and pervasive gender bias chief among them, women often find themselves victims of even further discrimination later in the migration cycle. Unskilled and undocumented women are supremely vulnerable to physical violence, sex trafficking, and the predations of a single employer who can threaten deportation.
The ranks of women migrants increases where discriminatory practices such as forced marriage, domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), and retribution in so-called ‘honor crimes’ are prevalent. Women migrants are likely to suffer reduced opportunities for education and poorer perinatal health care.
IOM seeks to insure that the particular needs of women migrants are included in the 2014 review of the Millennium Development Goals and in a post-2015 agenda.