Women make up nearly half of all migrants, an estimated 95 million of 191 million people living outside their countries of origin in 2005. Migration can be beneficial, both for women and for the countries which send and receive them. However, comparing to men, women have fewer opportunities for legal migration and are more vulnerable to violence and exploitation, and their needs for health care and other services are less likely to be met.
To discuss the needs, challenges, opportunities and rights of female migrants, UNFPA and IOM organized an expert group meeting in May 2006. Female Migrants: Bridging the gaps throughout the life cycle is the compilation of technical reports submitted to the meeting by independent experts and representatives from governments, international agencies, NGOs, and diaspora organizations to provide an input to the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development organized in September 2006.