Well being, transnational practices, and development: the case of Sub-Saharan highly-skilled migrant women in Europe

Dr. Camilla Spadavecchia ,

The relationship between Diaspora and Development is a key theme for the African Union (AU), which defines Diaspora as: “peoples of African descent and heritage living outside the continent and who remain committed to contributing to the development of the continent.” Highly-skilled migration is a phenomenon that affects origin and destination countries and attracts the attention of scholars and policymakers. Many studies claim that the role of highly-skilled migrant women is likely to affect the development of sending countries in peculiar ways. Furthermore, the World Migration Report (2013), considers that the well-being of the migrants can positively influence the development of origin communities. Hence, to better understand this process we have to look at highly-skilled migrants not just as brains in movement or contributors to the so called knowledge based economy. Migration is a part of the life path of the highly-skilled people; it constitutes a life project, which impacts the individual and his/her community, and it does not end with the migrant’s arrival in the destination country. Thus, we need to look at it both through transnational and interdisciplinary lenses. According to that, I will present research on highly skilled Sub-Saharan women in Europe in which I explore a few dimensions of their well-being, their transnational practices, and their impact on the development of the origin communities. The study is based on the time geography approach and life course approach.

About the speaker
Working on highly-skilled migration, development, and gender, Camilla received her PhD in Migration and Intercultural Processes by the University of Genoa with a thesis entitled "Migration of highly skilled women from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe: flows, strategies, and social remittances. A socio-geographic analysis". The study was developed together with the IN3 Research Centre at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona - Spain). She has seven years teaching and research experience in social geography, with a focus on social inequalities, human rights, development and international cooperation. Besides her participation in international academic congresses, she had been invited to numerous conferences organized by associations and NGOs dealing with migration. Recently, she had the honor to participate in a TEDx event in Eindhoven, with a speech on women, migration, and development, and she gave a lecture to the European Council Working Group on Development on women’s migration. Camilla is also the founder and former representative of the Ligurian Delegation UN WOMEN's Italian Chapter (United Nation Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women). She is a co-founder of an helpdesk service for women who are victims of violence in her origin city, and she is a trainer for local entities in the matter of violence against women, migration, and intercultural communication.

Venue: Conference room 0.16-0.17

Date: 21 October 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT