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IOM's forthcoming publication: Crushed Hopes

Press clipping: Research

Publication date14/03/11

IOM's forthcoming publication "Crushed Hopes: Underemployment and Deskilling in Skilled Migrant Women",

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) recently commissioned Sondra Cuban to write a paper on deskilling and educational opportunities for migrant women in England. I entitled it: 'I Don't Want to Be Stuck as a Carer': The Effects Of Deskilling On the Livelihoods and Opportunities of Migrant Care Workers In England. It is one of a number of European case studies in a forthcoming IOM report, entitled, Crushed Hopes: Underemployment and Deskilling in Skilled Migrant Women. The report, according to the Deputy Director of the IOM, 'gives voice to the plight of high-skilled migrant women unable to translate their education and professional skills into decent work.'

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The press release for the report came out on 8 March 2011, International Women's Day:

Over the past decades, worldwide efforts to increase girls' access to education have allowed an increased number of women to obtain secondary and tertiary education. This increased level of education amongst women accounts for the growing number of women migrating on their own to pursue study or career opportunities.

For some of them, especially the highly skilled, leaving their country can be seen as the only way to access the high-level jobs to which they aspire and for which they invested time and resources to be trained. For others, pushed to migrate for security or economic reasons, they hope their professional experience will help them integrate successfully into their new society.

However, the migration experience does not always live up to their expectations as many barriers remain when attempting to transfer skills from one country to another.

"Women tend to be under-represented in the most sought after professions by industrialized countries - IT, engineering, and business - and more concentrated in occupations that tend to be less easily transferrable because of national regulations, such as education, public administration and law. And so it is difficult to have their skills recognized in the host country labour market and to find employment matching their qualifications," explains IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson.


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