‘…poverty, insecurity and violence push
women to migrate in conditions of acute vulnerability; the root cause
of their migration or being trafficked is their objectified status’
In Latin America globalisation and neo-liberal economic policies have led to a massive increase in migration: from rural areas to cities and to more prosperous countries, particularly the USA, and increasingly to Europe, as people move in search of work and better economic prospects. More and more women are adopting migration as a survival strategy: they travel with or to join their husbands and increasingly on their own.
In the UK there is a large population of immigrants from Latin America. Some fled as refugees from dictatorships and civil wars in the 1970–90s and are settled there. More recently there have been economic migrants, some from Spain or Portugal where job opportunities are scarcer.
Latin American migrant women are marginalised in the UK and they often face discrimination and different forms of violence. If a woman comes on a visa with her partner and suffers domestic violence, it is difficult for her to leave him or to get access to public funds. One of the few employment options for migrant women is in the service sector, especially cleaning and domestic work in private homes. It is well documented that live-in domestic workers are vulnerable to abuse and their status, lack of language and knowledge of the welfare system in the UK makes it difficult to access help. Young women migrants are especially vulnerable to trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, while the elderly face can be abused within their own families.
In this section we provide information about an organisation
working with migrant women in the UK addressing VAW.
|globalisation and the feminisation of poverty||LAWRS UK|