Women and Migration case studies

These eight case studies from around the world cover each stage of the migration process, from the often dangerous journeys women take, to their acceptance or rejection by their destination country and their eventual resettlement or return.

‘I don’t have any other choice’ – refugee women’s journeys to Europe

We often think of irregular migrants to the EU as young, single men. But a third of those who cross the Mediterranean to seek asylum are women – these are their stories.

‘I never knew the journey was that risky’ – women’s experiences of corruption while migrating to Europe

Many irregular migrants to the European Union are driven out of their country of origin by corruption that makes daily life a struggle. But that corruption follows them en route in the form of bribery, violence and sextortion.

‘The work itself has changed me’ – the experience of (rural) migrant women and girls in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Many teenage girls in Ethiopia flee the strict confines of their rural homes to seek independence and a fresh start in the big city. Life isn’t easy in Addis Ababa, but they find community and resilience in one another.

‘We sleep without eating anything’ – the precarious lives of women labour migrants in South Africa

More and more women are leaving southern African countries like Zimbabwe and Malawi to seek greener pastures in South Africa. But when they arrive, they are faced with xenophobia, violence and a daily struggle to make enough money to live.

‘I don’t want them to end up like me’ – the women who return to Albania after seeking asylum in the EU

The vast majority of Albanians who seek asylum in the EU have their claims rejected and must return home. But that doesn’t mean they give up on their dreams of a better life.

‘He beat me when I was pregnant’ – Vietnamese marriage migrants and domestic violence in Taiwan

Taiwan’s “New Immigrant Women” are particularly vulnerable to abuse in the home. With their immigration status tied to their marriages, many have no choice but to stay silent.

‘They consider us as guests’ – Burmese and Iraqi refugee women’s experiences in Australia

Australia has a dedicated resettlement programme for refugees. But settling into a new community still presents challenges for women on humanitarian visas.

‘If I have land, I feed my family’ – refugee resettlement through community gardening in Seattle

How do refugees find community in their new home? For Mien migrants in Seattle, the answer lies in growing food from their former lives in Laos at the city’s communal gardens.

How to get involved

There's much more to learn about women and migration, and actions you can take yourself to help out those who might be in need. Find out more on our dedicated resources page.

A special thank you for making this project possible.