State of World Population 2006

A Passage to Hope - Women and International Migration

image of State of World Population 2006

This year’s report focuses on the lives of migrant women. Every year millions of women working overseas send hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances back to their homes and communities. These funds go to feed and educate children, provide health care, build homes, foster small businesses and generally improve living standards for loved ones left behind. For host countries, the labour of migrant women is so embedded in the fabric of society that it goes virtually unnoticed. Migrant women toil in the households of working families, soothe the sick and comfort the elderly. They contribute their technical and professional expertise, pay taxes and quietly support a quality of life that many take for granted.

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By force, not by choice: Refugee women and asylum-seekers

With a faint voice and half-closed eyes, Hajja tells her story: Five months ago, when she was four months pregnant, she fled her village to seek refuge from a conflict that is still tearing apart the lives of countless people living in Darfur, Sudan. She, her husband and their seven children made the 55 kilometre trek under the scorching desert sun before reaching Kalma camp—a safe haven that huddles along the train tracks near the Chad/Sudan border. They left behind their home, their friends and a life to which they may never be able to return.

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