Innovation empowers, drives gender equality

‘During the seven and a half years I lived there, I probably hosted more than 30 new Filipina nurses’

Female migrant workers play a critical role in many industries and economies worldwide — not just with the remittances they send home but also with the particular kind of care and compassion only they can offer.

Migrant women are powerful agents of change who positively contribute to the Philippine economy and their destination countries. They bring diverse talent and expertise to the diaspora and send remittances to their families and communities back home.

According to the United Nations, 100 million migrant women send remittances annually — half of all senders globally. In the Philippines, most overseas Filipino workers are women.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “Innovation for a Gender-Equal Future,” highlights the need for innovative thinking and technology to address the longstanding gender inequalities that still exist today. Accessible, reliable, and low-cost digital services like WorldRemit can thus help break down the barriers that prevent women from fully participating in all aspects of life, including the workplace, education and community.

In a recent interview with Katrina, one of the first Filipina nurses in New Zealand, she shared how she helped other OFWs settle down after her.

“In 2011, more Filipinos immigrated to New Zealand. During the seven and a half years I lived there, I probably hosted more than 30 new Filipina nurses,” she said. During this time, she acted as an “adoptive mother” to the new talents.

Now working in Australia, Katrina has helped send her cousins through college over the past decade. “I am the eldest of 13 grandchildren, and I feel that providing for them is a way to repay my uncle, who also sent me through school,” she said. She sends money to other relatives on special occasions like birthdays and graduations.

“More mothers, daughters and sisters are leaving home to seek opportunities in other countries. They are mostly motivated by their desire to provide better lives for their families,” said Earl Melivo, Interim APAC managing director of WorldRemit.

A 2017 UN Women policy brief showed that women were more likely to spend on health, education, and development when they managed their household income, which may include remittances.


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