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Betting on the empowerment of migrant women to promote inclusion

GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2020

Type of practice

Project/Programme

Latest content

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Local:

Sucumbíos, Imbabura, Carchi y Esmeraldas

Summary

In recent years, Ecuador has become a receiving country for a migrant population, with the largest number of refugees in the region, as a result of the Colombian conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. According to UNHCR, since 2000 Ecuador has hosted the largest recognized refugee population in Latin America and the Caribbean. As of December 31, 2021, 72,033 people have been recognized as refugees.

The border area has been the main recipient of the population in need of international protection, with an emphasis on risks of gender-based violence, mainly women and girls. Situation that is exacerbated in the territories where there is armed conflict, drug trafficking and greater insecurity combined with the absence of protection, essential services, and justice systems. During the lockdown, migrant and refugee women have perceived an increase in conflict and violence within their households, indicating a greater probability of an actual increase in violence, which should be monitored. 63% of refugee and migrant women reported that have suffered gender-based violence (GBV) by their current or last partner, and 8 out of 10 women have been victims of violence in the last 12 months. 

One of the strategic objectives of the UN Women Caminando project is to strengthen capacities and generate economic opportunities for migrant, refugee, and host community women on the northern border of Ecuador and sensitize the private sector to promote labor inclusion; while working with humanitarian actors on GBV detection, and prevention for sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). This encourages a protective environment for migrant women. The project worked with 1500 women from Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia to foster business plans and boost their professional capacities trough a cash for training (C4T) modality and the investment of seed capital for the startup proposals. The project is financed by the BPRM. 

Collaborators

Main Implementer

UN Women
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

Partners

Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrants of the State Department USA - BPRM

Benefit and Impact

UN Women, in partnership with HIAS, carried out a baseline assessment of GBV, vocational profile, employability and financial gaps, which allowed it to identify the main needs for strengthening and action in the intervention areas of the project. The results of these diagnoses laid the basis for intervention from a community-based approach to address and reduce the vulnerabilities of migrant and refugee women in response to objective 7 of the Migration Global Compact (MGC).

Within this framework, capacity-building processes based on andragogic approach for the different target audiences identified in the intervention were developed. Women received training based on women's empowerment and personal development, addressing self-awareness, resilience, self-esteem, empathic-active listening and sorority. The second section focused on GBV, and women's rights. The full knowledge of their rights made it possible to empower the participants and promote spaces for inclusion and social cohesion in line with objective 16 of the MGC. Finally, 1,527 women complemented their training with the HIAS My Business methodology in which the business idea was collectively developed. Due to COVID-19 scenario, electronic commerce and co-responsibility of care modules where included based on Chile and Uruguay experience in these regards. It is important to emphasize that, of all migrants, refugee and Ecuadorian women, 62% reported suffered GBV at some point in their lives. 500 women received seed capital trough bank transfer with a monitoring plan and 600 women strengthen their professional profiles with specific vocational scholarships with certification and economic incentives that allow them to integrate in labour market. UN Women and HIAS trained 17 private companies from various sectors on the labor rights of migrant and refugee women and over 200 humanitarian actors in GBV prevention and PSEA. Finally, and with a view to closing the financial gaps, a guideline to migrant women and the financial sector was in place.

Key Lessons

The complementarity in the intervention made it possible to strengthen the gender approach in the humanitarian actions of one of the main organizations in the country that provides direct assistance, and UN Women strengthened its tools for generating livelihoods.

In the implementation of the project, UN Women Ecuador identified the need to provide technical support to strengthen the capacities of counterparts in the implementation of the gender approach through close monitoring, training spaces and generation of tools. In this line, the intervention modality through a partnership (PCA) with a responsible party allows the agency to strengthen organizations, it is relevant to mention that the inclusion of the gender approach in humanitarian aid actions has been an identified gap by the R4V platform and is an element of special emphasis in the interventions.

The restrictions imposed by the National Government in the face of the health emergency prevented a face-to-face follow-up of the actions implemented. The Caminando Project team, together with its partner, had to respond to this scenario and identified virtual coordination and follow-up mechanisms such as weekly meetings, virtual accompaniment, among other actions, which allowed validating the application of the developed training methodology.

For the start of the project and considering that for UN Women Ecuador, the implementation of humanitarian actions represented a recent line of work, having interagency articulation allowed the adequate implementation of the actions, as well as the targeting of the ambitious goal established.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Something that allow the sustainability of this project was the baseline studies and the midterm review. The information and the implementation on a community bases allow the successful adjustment of the trainings responding to the needs of the diverse women part of the project.

Innovation

Under the Caminando Project implemented by UN Women in Ecuador, human center initiatives were developed based on needs assessments and gradual evaluations that allow us and our partners to understand the main issues that need to be address though a community base implementation. In this sense, an innovative component is the pilot of the Cash for Training modality that has not been implemented with these priority groups in the region. This modality allows to tackle one of the main reasons why women have high dropout rates in personal training processes, and it is due to the overload of care tasks in addition to having to cover the economic support of their family. In this sense, migrant women prioritize economic activities over education and training processes, thus limiting their life projects to cover their immediate needs. The C4T allows women to strengthen their professional profiles and at the same time receive a CBI that reduces the risk of desertion due to the need for economic income in their homes. Additionally, the gender approach was integrated into this C4T component by proposing training in non-traditional activities for women, allowing them to integrate into other labor markets and broaden their professional profile. And finally, to address the risk of desertion due to the overload of care activities, an awareness process was carried out in which women were able to recognize that the time they invested in care limited their actions in public space and their life project. In addition, as another component of prevention of GBV, the men in the homes of the women participating in non-violent and co-responsible masculinities were sensitized. This process allowed them to rethink their attitudes towards care activities and transform it into a purposeful and shared action.

Media

Proyecto Caminando en Lago Agrio - Historia de Vida: Marielis

Date submitted:

02 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

Betting on the empowerment of migrant women to promote inclusion

GCM Objectives

Dates:

2020

Type of practice:

Project/Programme

Latest content

Country:

Regions:

Sub Regions:

Local:

Sucumbíos, Imbabura, Carchi y Esmeraldas

Summary

In recent years, Ecuador has become a receiving country for a migrant population, with the largest number of refugees in the region, as a result of the Colombian conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. According to UNHCR, since 2000 Ecuador has hosted the largest recognized refugee population in Latin America and the Caribbean. As of December 31, 2021, 72,033 people have been recognized as refugees.

The border area has been the main recipient of the population in need of international protection, with an emphasis on risks of gender-based violence, mainly women and girls. Situation that is exacerbated in the territories where there is armed conflict, drug trafficking and greater insecurity combined with the absence of protection, essential services, and justice systems. During the lockdown, migrant and refugee women have perceived an increase in conflict and violence within their households, indicating a greater probability of an actual increase in violence, which should be monitored. 63% of refugee and migrant women reported that have suffered gender-based violence (GBV) by their current or last partner, and 8 out of 10 women have been victims of violence in the last 12 months. 

One of the strategic objectives of the UN Women Caminando project is to strengthen capacities and generate economic opportunities for migrant, refugee, and host community women on the northern border of Ecuador and sensitize the private sector to promote labor inclusion; while working with humanitarian actors on GBV detection, and prevention for sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). This encourages a protective environment for migrant women. The project worked with 1500 women from Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia to foster business plans and boost their professional capacities trough a cash for training (C4T) modality and the investment of seed capital for the startup proposals. The project is financed by the BPRM. 

Collaborators

Main Implementer:

UN Women
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

Partners:

Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrants of the State Department USA - BPRM

Benefit and Impact

UN Women, in partnership with HIAS, carried out a baseline assessment of GBV, vocational profile, employability and financial gaps, which allowed it to identify the main needs for strengthening and action in the intervention areas of the project. The results of these diagnoses laid the basis for intervention from a community-based approach to address and reduce the vulnerabilities of migrant and refugee women in response to objective 7 of the Migration Global Compact (MGC).

Within this framework, capacity-building processes based on andragogic approach for the different target audiences identified in the intervention were developed. Women received training based on women's empowerment and personal development, addressing self-awareness, resilience, self-esteem, empathic-active listening and sorority. The second section focused on GBV, and women's rights. The full knowledge of their rights made it possible to empower the participants and promote spaces for inclusion and social cohesion in line with objective 16 of the MGC. Finally, 1,527 women complemented their training with the HIAS My Business methodology in which the business idea was collectively developed. Due to COVID-19 scenario, electronic commerce and co-responsibility of care modules where included based on Chile and Uruguay experience in these regards. It is important to emphasize that, of all migrants, refugee and Ecuadorian women, 62% reported suffered GBV at some point in their lives. 500 women received seed capital trough bank transfer with a monitoring plan and 600 women strengthen their professional profiles with specific vocational scholarships with certification and economic incentives that allow them to integrate in labour market. UN Women and HIAS trained 17 private companies from various sectors on the labor rights of migrant and refugee women and over 200 humanitarian actors in GBV prevention and PSEA. Finally, and with a view to closing the financial gaps, a guideline to migrant women and the financial sector was in place.

Key Lessons

The complementarity in the intervention made it possible to strengthen the gender approach in the humanitarian actions of one of the main organizations in the country that provides direct assistance, and UN Women strengthened its tools for generating livelihoods.

In the implementation of the project, UN Women Ecuador identified the need to provide technical support to strengthen the capacities of counterparts in the implementation of the gender approach through close monitoring, training spaces and generation of tools. In this line, the intervention modality through a partnership (PCA) with a responsible party allows the agency to strengthen organizations, it is relevant to mention that the inclusion of the gender approach in humanitarian aid actions has been an identified gap by the R4V platform and is an element of special emphasis in the interventions.

The restrictions imposed by the National Government in the face of the health emergency prevented a face-to-face follow-up of the actions implemented. The Caminando Project team, together with its partner, had to respond to this scenario and identified virtual coordination and follow-up mechanisms such as weekly meetings, virtual accompaniment, among other actions, which allowed validating the application of the developed training methodology.

For the start of the project and considering that for UN Women Ecuador, the implementation of humanitarian actions represented a recent line of work, having interagency articulation allowed the adequate implementation of the actions, as well as the targeting of the ambitious goal established.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Something that allow the sustainability of this project was the baseline studies and the midterm review. The information and the implementation on a community bases allow the successful adjustment of the trainings responding to the needs of the diverse women part of the project.

Proyecto Caminando en Lago Agrio - Historia de Vida: Marielis

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Innovation

Under the Caminando Project implemented by UN Women in Ecuador, human center initiatives were developed based on needs assessments and gradual evaluations that allow us and our partners to understand the main issues that need to be address though a community base implementation. In this sense, an innovative component is the pilot of the Cash for Training modality that has not been implemented with these priority groups in the region. This modality allows to tackle one of the main reasons why women have high dropout rates in personal training processes, and it is due to the overload of care tasks in addition to having to cover the economic support of their family. In this sense, migrant women prioritize economic activities over education and training processes, thus limiting their life projects to cover their immediate needs. The C4T allows women to strengthen their professional profiles and at the same time receive a CBI that reduces the risk of desertion due to the need for economic income in their homes. Additionally, the gender approach was integrated into this C4T component by proposing training in non-traditional activities for women, allowing them to integrate into other labor markets and broaden their professional profile. And finally, to address the risk of desertion due to the overload of care activities, an awareness process was carried out in which women were able to recognize that the time they invested in care limited their actions in public space and their life project. In addition, as another component of prevention of GBV, the men in the homes of the women participating in non-violent and co-responsible masculinities were sensitized. This process allowed them to rethink their attitudes towards care activities and transform it into a purposeful and shared action.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Date submitted:

02 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).