Migrant women join forces and create the movement of migrant women

More than 60 women with migration experience joined forces to create the Movement of Migrant Women. Their aim is to be more actively involved in the collaboration with authorities for country’s development, as well as to fight for their rights.

According to statistics, most of the Moldovan migrants are women. They annually contribute with over EUR 700,000, which is 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Zadic Alisa had worked in Italy for four years, and when she got pregnant, she decided to return to Moldova. ‘If you want to and if you make an effort, you can live here well too’, Alisa explains her decision. According to her, the Movement of Migrant Women gives women an impulse to fight for their rights, ‘in the future I will continue to participate in the movement’s actions.’

 ‘I always believed that women have the power to change the world, especially those who come with experience and knowledge gained abroad. Women supporting one another can cooperate really well’, says Nicoleta Apostol, Chairperson of the Movement of Migrant Women.

‘We have to focus on those four main objectives we have, and we also wish to initiate collaboration with other movements of migrant women from outside the country. For instance, I know that a group of women from the Philippines acts as a governmental decision-maker. Ultimately, we also want to participate in taking decisions at the national level regarding women migrants’, Nicoleta Apostol added.

The priorities identified by the Migrant Women’s Movement include the transfer of pensions, recognition of education certificates, easier integration of children who returned from abroad in Moldovan schools, and others.

The creation of the Movement of Migrant Women was facilitated under the Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Rights Project implemented by UN Women in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Bureau for Diaspora Relations and other partners.

The closing event of this Project, which took place on 27 January 2017, provided an overview of the achievements from the past three years in the area of migrants’ rights protection:

Results include:

  • Support for the creation of the Movement of Migrant Women, training of more than 150 women in areas related to labour and human rights, and strengthening communication and leadership skills
  • Male and female state representatives can make better decisions due to the created communication platform and open dialogue between them and migrant women
  • Alignment of the national legislation in the area of migration, labour and trafficking especially with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, Recommendation 26)
  • Involvement of migrant women in the development of the new 2017-2019 Action Plan
  • Conduct of the campaign ‘Look at women migration with different eyes’ promoting the true contribution of migrant women to society development

‘Migration and development are interdependent. The migrants can contribute and they do contribute to the country’s development. I’m glad that a positive model of migration was successfully promoted through this Project and the women who started businesses managed to support the family and community’, Anastasia Oceretnii, Deputy Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family, said.

Olga Coptu, Head of the Bureau for Relations with Diaspora, mentioned during the event that ‘Unfortunately, we cannot change the proportions of migration that has already occurred and that affected practically every family. We will continue to focus on supporting the returnees.’

‘UN Women will continue the partnerships established within this Project and will continue to support migrant women and promote their rights’, Ulziisuren Jamsran, UN Women Country Representative, said.

Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights is an international project implemented by UN Women and other partners and financed by the European Union. The Project was carried out in three countries: Mexico, the Philippines and Moldova. In Moldova, this Project was implemented by UN Women in close collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family, Bureau for Relations with Diaspora and other partners.