Beyond Borders: Women, Migration, & Pandemic


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Event Type

Beyond Borders: Women, Migration, & Pandemic

UN Women USA NY will host Beyond Borders: Women, Migration & Pandemic, an open dialogue on the experience of women in migrant and refugee populations, spotlighting individual stories to illuminate statistics. This conversation will provide a forum on power disparity, gender inequality, and increased gender-based violence in migrant and refugee populations, and propose actions to improve the reality of migrant and refugee women and girls around the world.

Setting the stage

Half of the world’s 70 million forcibly displaced, including refugees, and half of the world’s 258 million migrants are women. Yet less than 1% of funding to fragile states goes to women’s groups. Refugee and migrant women’s voices are missing from policies designed to protect them. One in five displaced women experience sexual violence. Sixty percent of preventable maternal deaths take place in humanitarian settings. In crisis, women are first responders and play a crucial role in rebuilding communities. Women migrant workers send money home at a rate greater than official development assistance annually.

Dr. Amani Ballour, subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Cave, ran an underground field hospital within a cave in her hometown of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus. It is estimated that from 2016 to 2018, Ballour saved thousands of people who were critically injured by airstrikes and chemical weapon attacks, including those on nearby hospitals. Dr. Ballour has been awarded the Council of Europe’s Raoul Wallenberg Prize for her work treating victims of Syrian bombings. “The Cave” follows the work of Dr. Ballour and her medical team at the field hospital.

May Malik serves as the Deputy Commissioner at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she leads the agency’s work in three distinct teams: Communications, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Outreach & Organizing. Previously, May served as the Director of Public/Private Partnerships at NYC Service, where she lead and executed strategic cross-sector partnerships designed to leverage financial and people power in addressing some of New York City’s socioeconomic challenges; worked in Sudan as part of a collaborative effort between Save the Children, UNICEF, and the Federal Ministry of Education to provide psycho-social intervention programs to children in conflict and post-conflict zones; helped to design communications and support fundraising strategies for Lalela, which provides arts education and critical messaging to at-risk youth in South Africa, Northern Uganda, and the South Bronx; and traveled to 30+ countries and over 100 cities as a tour publicist for Depeche Mode. May received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University.

Dayle Haddon is the founder of WomenOne, a charitable organization focused on the education of girls and women. As a UNICEF Ambassador, she has traveled to refugee camps in Darfur, to earthquake-stricken Haiti, and to mountain schools in Bolivia to distribute supplies. She has interviewed doctors on medical challenges in Angola and traveled to rebel territories in the Democratic Republic of Congo to support rape victims. Haddon interviews women in extreme situations, bringing their stories to the world. WomenOne’s initial project built the first all-girl high school in one of the poorest parts of Kenya. Without opportunity, girls in this community face a future of FGM, arranged marriage, and poverty. Students are now earning top grades and aim to become pilots, doctors, and child’s rights lawyers. WomenOne plans to build a Turkish Syrian Peace Center for Turks and Syrian refugees on the border, to develop and heal relations, as well as to continue education in their emergency situation.

Saskia Blume is the Deputy Lead of the Migration and Displacement Team at UNICEF Headquarters, where she works on UNICEF’s global programming, policy asks and advocacy across the 190 countries and territories UNICEF is active in. She has previously worked in UNICEF’s Child Protection programme, where she developed UNICEF’s first Global Programming Framework for Children on the Move. Before, Saskia was based in Myanmar managing child protection programming for internally displaced children, as well as working on getting children released from the Myanmar Armed Forces and Armed Groups; she worked on programming and research on Gender, trafficking and internal migration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vietnam; and on trafficking and forced labour with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. She holds a BA in Political Sciences from Sciences Po and a Master’s degree in Migration Studies from Oxford University.

All Donations from this Event will go directly to aiding Rohingya women recently affected by the devastating fires that broke out across three Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar. 48,000 individuals lost their homes and personal belongings. A donation of $35 purchases a dignity kit for a woman affected by the fires.

Register Here.