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

GCM From a Gender Perspective

Reflections on the Global Compact for Migration

Joint Statement Published by Members of the Expert Working Group for Addressing Women’s Human Rights in the Global Compact for Migration


The Expert Working Group for addressing women’s human rights in the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (EWG), is composed of individual experts from UN human rights treaty bodies, special procedure mandate holders, UN agencies, civil society organisations and academic institutions. It was established in 2017 to help ensure that the rights of the estimated 120 million migrant women and girls around the world are fully promoted and protected in the creation and implementation of the Global Compact for Migration. UN-Women serves as the substantive Secretariat of the Expert Working Group.

We welcome the agreement reached by United Nations Member States on the final draft of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) as a major milestone in international migration governance. We are pleased to note that the GCM enshrines gender-responsive, human rights, people-centered and child-sensitive approaches as cross-cutting and interdependent guiding principles, and we recognise the hard work and dedication of Member States to achieve this. However, we regret that the text does not include references to certain issues critical for realising the human rights of all migrants, and in particular women and girls. These missing issues include:

  • The principle of non-refoulement
  • Avoidance of any hierarchy of human rights, including access to public services, labour rights and justice, due to migration status
  • Access to sexual and reproductive health services
  • Recognizing the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination faced by migrant women on the grounds of sex and other relevant characteristics (inter alia, income, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location)
  • The specific needs and challenges faced by pregnant migrant women and nursing mothers
  • Recognizing the various forms of families that exist
  • Providing individual documentation for migrant women
  • The role of women’s organizations/migrant women’s organizations
  • Affirmation of freedom of association and full labour rights for all women migrant workers, including domestic workers, and not limiting this to ‘contractual workers’

Despite this, we recognize that with the text agreed, the real work begins now. Together we can and must ensure that the implementation of the GCM works for all migrants, upholding the key principles of non-discrimination and non-regression. While the GCM is gender-responsive on paper, we need to work to ensure that it is also gender-responsive in practice, which means understanding and responding to the realities of all women and girls in migration by addressing their specific needs, challenges, and situations of vulnerability through national policies, programmes and laws. To support these efforts, we would urge the new UN Network on Migration to take on gender equality as a cross cutting concern in the work of the core group and of the working groups. Further, we call for the creation of a gender-responsive GCM multi-stakeholder global taskforce to focus specifically on ensuring gender-responsive policy coherence and communication to collectively support, monitor and evaluate GCM implementation and outcomes going forward.[1]

The EWG is committed to providing support to Member States and other key stakeholders in the design and implementation of national migration policies which effectively promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. To this end, we firmly believe that a multi-stakeholder approach, enriched by the participation of migrant women and representatives of their organizations should be prioritised.

Building on our expert Recommendations for addressing women’s human rights in the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, we will soon be developing a practical guide entitled ‘Policies and Practice: A Guide to Gender-Responsive Implementation of the GCM’. This tool will provide concrete guidance to Member States, UN agencies, civil society organizations, regional bodies, and the private sector on implementing a GCM that contributes to the achievement of SDG 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. With this guide, we will contribute to ensuring that the human rights of all women and girls in migration are respected, protected and fulfilled in national, regional and global migration governance.

The implementation of the GCM is an unmissable opportunity to ensure that migration policies advance gender equality and the ability of all women and girls to enjoy their full human rights. There are more than 120 million migrant women and girls around the world, and every one of them should live a life free from all forms of violence, exploitation, and abuse whether in countries of origin, transit or destination. To achieve this, we are ready to work with Member States and other stakeholders to fully implement the GCM and turn commitments into action for all migrant women and girls.

Read the official statement here!