Immigration is female: 2.3 million women in Italy, IOM in Rome

Asset for the economy and essential for the integration

12 December, 20:23

    Women immigrants Women immigrants

    (By Cristiana Missori) (ANSAmed) - Rome - Women immigrants in Italy are today 2 million and 370,000 and are essential for the integration of their families and an asset for the country's economy. This is why women should be at the centre of immigration policies, participants at a conference organized Wednesday in Rome by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. The conference was on 'The role of women migrants in cooperation, co-development and the reconstruction process of home countries'.

    'The phenomenon of the increasing number of women among migrants has never gone under 46% from the1960s to 2000 and today reaches 49% worldwide', said Cristina Ravaglia, the director general of Italians abroad and migration policies of the Italian foreign ministry. Women integrate well and help others do so. 'They are an element of stabilization in the country welcoming them', said Ravaglia. And most of them work, according to data . 'The growth of immigrant employment rates has never stopped. Projections for 2020 show an increase of foreign workers in our country by 45%', said the director general. Though the economic crisis has hit the entire European continent and Italy in particular, unemployment rates among foreigners are lower. 'For men the rate is 5% while for women the percentage is even lower, 2%', said Ravaglia, who stressed however that 'more cooperation is needed with home countries' on the employment front.

    Politics will need to change its perspective and show more courage, said IOM director general ambassador William Lacy Swing. 'We need to go from a concept of migration to one of mobility', she said. 'We must give migrants the opportunity to maintain a contact between their home countries and the nations welcoming them'. Immigrants should be supported more with policies including tax cuts on money sent back home, said Swing.

    Finally, Riccardo Migliori, president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, called for 'a new Mediterranean. In 10-15 years countries on its southern shores will be part of a something new, call it Upm or other', he said.

    'We can't do without it'. (ANSamed)

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