Call for Papers: “Migration and violence from a gender perspective”, Deadline May 20 (CIDOB, Barcelona)

Migration has various effects on the lives of people in accordance with socially assigned gender roles that result in specific difficulties and vulnerabilities for women, adolescents, and young girls, as well as for the LGBTI collective. This situation means a greater impact of violence on these groups —from discrimination through to sexual abuse— both during the migratory journey and, subsequently, in their general integration and social and occupational inclusion in the country of destination.

There can be no doubt that, in recent years, we have witnessed greater visibility of so-called involuntary movements of people who leave because they are forced to, or migrate as a “matter of survival”. This migration represents a scenario that is highly prone to human rights violations. The human security deficit (or “massive loss of habitat”, in Saskia Sassen’s words) not only constitutes the main cause of forced migration flows but it also entails multiple forms of violence with varying effects on people’s lives throughout all the stages of the migratory process. Indeed, the different kinds of gender violence can lead to forced displacement within one’s own country and also to flight from the land of one’s birth to seek refuge in a more secure territory.

From the standpoint of gender and when analysing on the growing spiral of violence faced by women and sexual minorities who are in situations of mobility, we cannot confine this violence to the migratory process alone. Far from this being the case, such violence reflects a continuum of abuse that marks not only the fact of migration but a lifetime’s experience. This encompasses everything from the structural violence that underpins the patriarchy (the “pedagogy of cruelty”, to use Rita Segato’s term) through to the political violence stemming from migration policies and the forms of governability that arise from them. In this context, states, through containment of their borders, give rise to forms of necropolitics that engender “disposable” subjects”, as Achille Mbembe describes them. Hence, migrants can suffer several kinds of violence during the migratory experience: in the country of origin, in transit, and on arrival.

When studying this phenomenon, focuses like human security from the perspective of gender and intersectionality allow inclusion of all the forms of violence that are mainly inflicted on women—who may be moving with young children—adolescents, and young girls, as a result of the patriarchal order. The human security approach denotes an absence of any kind of threat to the basic values of human dignity (including physical survival, wellbeing, and respect for identity). This makes it possible to combine the centrality of the person with a comprehensive way of addressing the opportunities, vulnerabilities, and risks confronted by human beings in situations of mobility. Moreover, from its holistic and structural point of view the transversality of the intersectional approach includes the interrelationship between multiple forms of violence and discrimination.

Based on these approaches, Number 133 of Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals (CIDOB Journal of International Affairs) aims to offer an overview that allows analysis of the causes, manifestations, and impacts of the various kinds of vulnerability and violence that confront migrants as a result of their gender condition (and intersecting with other possible areas of inequality) during the different stages of the migratory cycle. 

The journal welcomes contributions of original empirical, comparative, and theoretical work using a critical approach to analyse different geographical frameworks. In particular, the research subjects to be addressed in this issue are: 

  • Women, women with young children, adolescents, young girls, and also LGBTI migrants fleeing situations of sexual and gender violence in the country of origin (for example, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, intrafamily violence, transphobia, sexual violence in armed conflicts, wars, or authoritarian regimes).
  • Manifestations of sexual and gender violence during transit, these including sexual harassment, torture, and even femicide.
  • Gender and sexual diversity as conditioning factors for integration and social and occupational inclusion in the country of destination, including:

a)    Forms of violence in recruitment of mostly “South/North” (but sometimes “South/South”) flows of women for work in certain labour niches of the informal and illegal economy (e.g. domestic service, sex work), which are especially damaging when this occurs through trafficking networks.

b)    Processes of identity-based stigmatisation that inflict symbolic and gendered violence, thus exacerbating still more other situations of abuse and multiple discrimination (for example related with symbols like the hijab and the Islamic veil, embodiment of trans people, etcetera).                                                          

  • Asylum processes driven by gender-based violence against women and the LGBTI collective, and their social and legal connotations.
  • Agency and capacity for resistance of women, adolescents, young girls, and LGBTI migrants in social spaces with many, complex, and heterogeneous forms of violence (by means of self-defence and self-care, creation of mutual support networks, activism to denounce migration policies, human rights activism, etcetera). 

Timetable of the call:

May 20th, 2022: Submission deadline for abstracts (300 words) and a short biographical note (100 words). 
7th–9th June, 2022: Authors are notified of the outcome of the selection process. 
1st September, 2022 : Submission deadline for completed articles (see instructions for authors). 

Read more here.