Skills Development for Migrant Women and Recognition of their Foreign Credentials
Proposed by: BPW International President Dr. Amany Asfour
Seconded by: BPW Canada
Supported by: BPW International Taskforce Chair, Migrant Women and Global Citizenship, Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla, JD
Acknowledging that Objective 18, one of the 23 objectives in the Agreed Outcome document (July 13, 2018) from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration deals with investment in skills development.
Noting that to achieve economic empowerment for migrant women and realize the Sustainable Development Goals the following SDG targets must be met:
(i) Protect migrant workers’ rights SDG 8.8
(ii) Access vocational training and affordable education SDG 4.3
BPW International Resolves that all Affiliates:
a) urge their governments to invest in skills development for migrant women
b) facilitate mutual recognition of skills, qualifications and competencies for migrant women by reviewing education and credential assessments for immigration applicants and advocating for means to prove their contributions in the host country
c) advocate and collaborate with immigrant serving organizations to recognize businesses and educational institutions that promote inclusion of migrant women in the workplace
RATIONALE FOR THE RESOLUTION:
Migrant women are considered to be one of the vulnerable groups of women left behind when it comes to economic empowerment and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This means that we must consider an inclusive approach when it comes to the implementation of the SDGs. The SDGs recognize that protecting the rights of immigrant women will advance their potential to become agents of development.
Studies have shown that an increasing proportion of women are economic or labour migrants. Not only do women spend their incomes in the host countries but they also send remittances to their home countries which go towards education, health and community development. In fact, studies show that migrant women remit a higher proportion of their salary than migrant men.
A key economic and employment barrier faced by migrants is a lack of recognition of international credentials and experience. Businesses are feeling the effects of labour shortages around the world and the urgency to find solutions has become a top priority. However, there is a lack of understanding of the skills and credentials of internationally trained professionals.
Even with credential evaluation institutions that are reliable, credible, and trusted sources to ensure the qualifications of an internationally educated candidate are assessed adequately, there is the perception that not developing or acquiring the skills in the host country is a liability. Foreign study and work experience is not necessarily considered an asset especially in a host country that is focused on formal academic credentials and professional licensure rather than a skills-based approach to hiring.
It takes leaders, key influencers, and cross-sector collaboration to create systemic change. All BPW members have a role to play in leading discussions around diversity, inclusion, and recognition.
Suggestions for a practical action plan to be implemented by BPW International and its affiliates.
Affiliates of BPW International implement the initiatives in clauses a) to c) of the resolution and BPW International advocate on this issue through UN agencies and global stakeholders while understanding that BPW is in a position to shape the conversation on inclusion of migrant women in areas of education, training, assessment of credentials, employment and overall treatment in the workforce.
FINANCIAL IMPACT (if any) on BPW International:
Proposed Resolutions 2020, Workbook 2021, p. 122/123