Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - More and more women are part of the migratory flows from Africa. This is what emerges from the conference "Women, gender and migration" which is being held in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. The conference is organized by the Catholic Organization for Development and Solidarity (OCADES, Caritas of Burkina Faso) and the German NGO Welthungerhilfe, as part of the implementation of the Support Project for the Protection of Migrants most vulnerable on the migratory routes of the Sahel (PROMISA). PROMISA is supported by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and is managed by Caritas Switzerland (CaCH), in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), OCADES, Caritas Mali and Welturgerhilfe (WHH ).
"For a long time, and although women are not much less represented than today in global migration flows, gender has been ignored.... In Burkina Faso, we are helplessly witnessing a strong human mobility with new profiles of migrants, especially women. It is appropriate to pay attention to the situation of migrant women and in particular to their health", said the director of the Center for Research and Training on Integral Human Development, Sister Jeannine Sawadogo, in her introductory remarks.
"We realize that more and more migration has a female face. Now, do national level policies, migration strategies favorable to women take gender into account?" asked Dieudonné Guiguemdé, head of OCADES. "This is what justifies this panel to try to reflect on the question of gender and migration; because women are often victims of the migratory journey. We must therefore strive to help them obtain optimal protection; it is not because they are women that they should be considered as people to be manipulated, people to satisfy any desire, but on the contrary they have a dignity to preserve and protect".
More and more women are migrating independently of their families, attracted by the high demand for work in female-dominated sectors, such as domestic work and health care. Migration policy has not adapted to this global trend. There is no comprehensive systematic understanding of how to assess the impact of migration policies on men and women. In addition, women and girls often remain victims of violence and abuse of all kinds along the migration route and then in the countries of destination.
The organizers of the Ouagadougou conference also organized a two-day meeting, from November 28 to 29, with the country's Defense and Security Forces (FDS), in order to "strengthen the understanding and operational capacities of the FDS on human trafficking and understanding the link between gender and migration", says the Secretary General of OCADES, Fr. Constantin Séré, who underlines that "the question of the protection of migrants remains topical despite the crisis our country (...).) And when migrants arrive safe and sound in the countries of destination, the hardships they have overcome on the way can affect their physical integrity or their mental health". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2022)