CSW 63 – WIMN’s Side Event on 14 March

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Leave No One Behind!

Migrant Women’s Access to Social Protection

Women in Migration Network (WIMN) UN-CSW 63 Parallel Event

Thursday, 14 March, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Second Floor, Church Center for the United Nations

Social Protection and decent work are a critical common link for women within their own countries and for women who migrate. Lack of adequate social protections in both countries of origin and destination put differentiated burdens on women. Cuts in social safety nets are one of the push-factors of migration for many women and their families. The roll back of social protection and shrinking wages in the global North have meant that women work longer hours and, when they can afford it, rely on low wage care workers, many of whom are migrant women of color.

In this context, feminists are exploring how to integrate agendas to understand how current policies specifically affect women in migration. Where are the places for building common agendas for greatest impact?

2019 marks the launch of the UN Global Compact for Migration, which is creating new UN infrastructure for international cooperation on Migration. The Global Compact for Migration, adopted last December by the UN General Assembly, is the first-ever comprehensive UN agreement on international migration and global migration governance. The Compact is “migrant -centered” and has gender-responsiveness and human rights as guiding principles. In this context, civil society launched a Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto, calling on governments to put women and girls at the center of migration policy—ensuring their full, equal and meaningful participation at local, national, regional and global levels and guaranteeing their human rights.

This event aims to discuss what cross-sectoral approaches feminists might take to affirm social protections, labor rights and access to social services for women in migration and all women. It will also seek to identify how feminist movements can take advantage of key moments and instruments in 2019 for advocacy. Finally, it will offer participants the opportunity to view and sign the Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto, which is being used as an advocacy tool on national and global migration policy. [http://womeninmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Marrakech-Women-Manifesto-English.pdf]


Moderator:       Paola Cyment, WIMN

Speaker 1:         Monami Maulik, Global Coalition on Migration (GCM)

Speaker 2:         Leah Sullivan, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)

Speaker 3:         Gemma Adaba, Council of Global Unions

 Discussion Themes:

  • What cross-sectoral approaches might feminists take to affirm social protections labor rights and access to social services for all?
  • What could collaboration among women’s and migrants’ organizations look like at local and national level?
  • How can feminist movements take advantage of key moments and instruments in 2019, such as implementation of the new UN Global Compact for Migration and the High Level Political Forum, to advance the women’s rights and migrant rights agenda?


WIMN promotes women’s human rights at the center of all migration and development policy. WIMN convenes organizations to expand rights-centered policies that prioritize the interests of diverse women and families affected by migration around the world.


Endorse the Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto

From a caravan of families crossing Mexico to raids in northern Morocco; from new fences being constructed in Europe to the exclusion of refugees in Australia; from people displaced by climate-related weather to those fleeing violence—migrants and refugees are in the news, and half of them are women who face particular challenges.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to demand that migrant women’s rights and leadership be put at the center of the migration debates and policies that hold sway over their lives. On 10-11 December, governments will meet in Marrakech to adopt the Global Compact for Migration, the first-ever international agreement on migration management. Collectively, we’ll present the Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto to world leaders, and we’ll demand that migrant women be put at the center of migration policy, now and going forward. We need your support!

Please add your name now – as individuals and as organizations – to the “Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto”.  During “Migration Week” in Marrakech, Morocco this December, we are launching a call to migrants and allies around the world to add your endorsement to the Manifesto and pledge to work in your countries to put women’s human rights at the center of migration policy. 

Read the Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto (English version) here.

[See below for endorsement forms in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Russian & Arabic]

Click here to add your name as an individual.

Click here to add an organizational endorsement.

The GCM promises to be “gender-responsive” and “a milestone in the history of the global dialogue and international cooperation on migration.” However, this will only be possible if women’s human rights, international labor standards and crucial principles are fully incorporated into all national, regional and global migration policy. That will depend on all of us!

Click here to read the background document, Women’s Rights in Global Migration Policy

Please share this call for endorsements! Help us to enlist tens of thousands to let governments know we are watching and that we will be organizing to hold them accountable!


Co-organizers: Women in Migration Network (WIMN) and Oxfam International


Apoya el Manifiesto de Marrakech por los Derechos de las Mujeres [Spanish]

Appuie le Manifeste de Marrakech pour les Droits des Femmes [French]


Поддержите Марракешский Манифест Прав Женщин [Russian]

أيّد بيان حقوق المرأة بمراكش [Arabic]

Background Document – Women’s Rights in Global Migration Policy:

Antecedentes: los Derechos de las Mujeres en la Política Migratoria Global [Spanish]

Les droits des femmes dans les politiques migratoires mondiales [French]

背景:全球移民政策下妇女权利问题 [Mandarin]

Короткая информационная справка: Права женщин в международной миграционной политике [Russian]

: ﺣﻘوق اﻟﻣرأة اﻟﯾﺎﺳﺔ اﻟﺎﻟ ﻟﻠﮭﺟرة [Arabic]


Women’s Rights in Global Migration Policy

A backgrounder towards the Marrakech Women’s Rights Manifesto

Click here for a PDF of this document

Women bear a disproportionate share of unpaid work and are often forced to bear the burden of communities and families in crisis, making up for a shortfall in public provisioning. Women experience marginalization, even as many also act as change leaders—addressing issues ranging from access to public services to the need for decent work, from the local impacts of climate change, to housing and land access. Women often carry the weight of families and communities in situations of economic dislocation, conflict, climate-related disasters or social and political exclusion.

Yet, women’s human rights in migration are systematically violated. Women’s priorities and voices are regularly missing from policies and programs purportedly designed to support their work, to protect their bodies, care for their environment and generally impact their lives. With its commitment to make visible women’s human rights, and to take seriously women’s primary concerns, the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) is a major opportunity to correct this generations-old exclusion of women and girls.

 Women are half of some 258 million migrants in the world today. Many are leaders in their communities of origin and when they migrate. Whether while migrating, in their countries of origin or destination, or when they return—women in migration play a crucial role as human rights defenders and in sustaining and rebuilding communities.

 Women face particular migration realities because of their gender in countries of origin, including the inability to migrate, and while in transit, at borders and in destination countries. Women increasingly migrate for work, which is disproportionately precarious and low-wage. Women and girls are particularly impacted by failed development policies that result in climate-related and other displacement, extremely exploitative work, migrating spouses and divided families, increased care burdens, and violence.

While women come from diverse backgrounds and are not a uniform group, women and girls, including LGBTQI[1] women and girls, share the experience of gender inequality in its different manifestations. Women and girls are given different labels while migrating — being called internally displaced, migrants, victims of trafficking, stateless, climate-displaced, refugees or asylum-seekers—but all move seeking safety, autonomy and livelihoods with dignity and rights.

This Women’s Manifesto provides a common platform that affirms our commitment to collective action and an agenda for gender equality and equity in migration policy in the context of sustainable development. This includes government commitments to Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, and all post 2015 UN development goals.


[1] Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex

Women in Migration Network   –   Oxfam International