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UN launches virtual community on gender and migration

12 May 2009

Press Release

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UN-INSTRAW’s virtual community provides a space for discussion on women's participation in migratory flows and their contribution to development. The initiative seeks to collect experiences worldwide and strengthen existing networks among experts to enrich research and policy advocacy in the field.

The new UN-INSTRAW virtual community aims to bring together academic experts, practitioners and other stakeholders from all over the world to discuss the issues of migration, remittances and development from a gender perspective, share information and learn from each other.

Launched on April 20, 2009, the initiative is a result of two UN-INSTRAW virtual discussions, held in 2008, in which participants shared ideas about the current approach to gender, migration and development research (September 2008) and exchanged ideas on ensuring that the results of ongoing research have a concrete impact on policy and programming (November 2008).

The Virtual Community on Gender and Migration aims to provide a space for ongoing reflection and debate on these issues, as well as the permanent exchange of information and new and existing experiences.

"The Virtual community on Migration and Gender pioneered by INSTRAW is an excellent opportunity for academics and activists alike to exchange information and engage in global debate on migration dynamics and gender," stated Bridget Wooding, Associate Researcher at FLACSO in the Dominican Republic, and one of the participants in the Virtual Community.

International migration for economic necessity is a phenomenon affecting more and more people, households and communities worldwide. Gender is not only an important factor shaping the migratory experience itself; it also shapes the causes and consequences of migration.

Women are increasingly migrating independently as heads of their households, and less often as dependants of their spouses or fathers. More and more women are becoming the principal wage earners for their families, and are increasingly involved in the sending, receipt and management of remittances. Thus they play an important role in determining the impact of migration on development. However, very often migration research and policy do not take gender into account.

"The community is a valuable opportunity to encourage necessary exchange amongst multiple sectors, such as academia, international organizations, and civil society, in order to develop theoretical and practical ways to ensure that the rights and welfare of migrants are respected and protected in migration processes,” stated Sandra Panopio, UN-INSTRAW Gender, Migration and Development Advisor.

The Community website offers its members several tools to facilitate discussion and share information in order to keep abreast of developments in the field such as a forum, a blog, a compendium of resources, links and information on gender, migration and development and other interactive features.


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