Why are feminist perspectives on migration important?

Maja has studied inequalities, racism, and sexism both on a local and a national level from an intersectional feminist perspective. Photo: Private

26th of April, we had the pleasure to listen to Maja Sager, PhD and associate senior lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies in Lund, in a FUF-seminar in Lund. She talked about feminist perspectives on migration, which is her research focus. The key question of the seminar was: Why is it important to analyze migration and refugee policy from feminist perspectives?

Maja answers as follows: “Feminist perspectives and analyzes of migration and refugee policy are important in many ways. We need them to shed light on women's specific experiences of war, flight, the reception systems and racism in institutions as well as in everyday life in Europe. The consequences of border control include intensification of power relations, proliferation of forms of vulnerability and limitation of the range of available choices and autonomy for migrants from the global south to the global north. These processes need to be understood within a feminist intersectional frame. Such a frame includes paying attention to the ways in which gendered understandings of migration, nation and racism have effects in migrant women's positions in terms of invisibility, vulnerability and victimization, and the specific situation created for migrants who are non-binary or trans-persons in relation to the gender normative structures of asylum assessment and reception. But they also have consequences for migrant men, in terms of labor market exploitation, detention and the demonization of migrant men that has been striking in the debates on migration during the last year. Also, the fascist movements that are growing in Europe today are woven around ideas that tie gender, nation and racism to each other in specific ways. I think these are central issues on the feminist agenda today. ”

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