Female migrants and refugees cannot be reduced to being passive companions to men. Rather they take on an active role in staying informed, finding creative ways of coping with unforeseen difficulties, and forging a better life for their children, all in the face of being at higher risk than men. When it comes to being informed, despite personal judgments of being well prepared and acquainted with the necessary information, many women come to realize their previous perceptions do not match up with reality. Overall, women’s perceptions of the EU are manifold, subjective, and relate to all aspects of society.
Key gender differences:
- Female refugees especially value gender equality and cited it as an incentive for migrating to Europe, the topic appears to be less important to men;
- No clear indication that only men take migration-related decisions and that women were less informed about the process;
- Migration route: the aspect of safety on the route was particularly emphasized by women.
- Immigration and asylum procedures: women mentioned more often than men that they were surprised by the long waiting periods and delays during immigration and asylum procedures;
- Mobile media use: women used their smartphones less in their country of origin because they were able to see their family in person. They reported using Facebook more widely than men. However, women also reported distrusting social media and Facebook more often;
- Safety and education for their children in Europe was a dominant topic among women.
CARE (2017). Left behind How the world is failing women and girls on refugee family reunion. CARE. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/left-behind-how-world-failing-women-and-girls-refugee-family-reunion [accessed on 12 January 2021].
Choi C., Hwang M.C., & Parreñas R.S. (2018). Women on the Move: Stalled Gender Revolution in Global Migration. In Risman B., Froyum C., Scarborough W. eds. Handbook of the Sociology of Gender. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research, Springer, Cham.
Demarchi, G. & Lenehan, S. (2019). Gender in Waiting: Men and Women Asylum Seekers in European Reception Facilities. World Bank.
Donato, K. (2012). Introduction: Variation in the Gender Composition of Migrant Populations. Social Science History, 36(2), pp. 191-195.
Fleury, A. (2016). Understanding Women and Migration: A literature Review. KNOMAD Working Papers, World Bank Group.
Jolly, S. & Reeves, H. (2005). Gender and Migration: Overview Report. Institute of Development Studies.
Martiniello, M., Rea, A., & Wets, J. (2015). New dynamics in female migration and. C. Timmerman (Ed.). New York & London: Routledge, pp. 1 -257.
Mixed Migration Centre (2018). Experiences of female refugees & migrants in origin, transit and destination countries. A comparative study of women on the move from Afghanistan, East and West Africa. Mixed Migration Centre. Available at: https://mixedmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/050_experiences-of-female-refugees.pdf [accessed 12 January 2022].
Schrover, M. (2013). Feminization and problematization of migration: Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Hoerder, D. & Kaur, A. eds. Proletarian and gendered mass migrations. A global perspective on continuities and discontinuities from the 19th to the 21st Centuries. Leiden Brill, pp. 103-131.