IOM Libya Releases Special Report on Displaced Female Migrants

Gender and Migration, Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Libya - IOM Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has released a special Flow Monitoring Analytical report presenting a demographic and socio-economic profile of female migrants in Libya.

Results were obtained from surveys conducted with 2,988 migrants between 12 July and 16 September 2016, of whom 145 were female (5 percent). The analysis conducted for this report focused on female respondents only.

“This report provides a much-needed gender-sensitive perspective to understanding migration dynamics in Libya,” explained DTM Libya’s Research and Reporting Officer Hiba Sha’ath. “The backgrounds, migratory drivers, and vulnerabilities of male and female migrants can often be quite different. By having a more nuanced understanding of these differences, the international community is better able to provide support to each population group in response to their specific needs,” she added.

The respondents came from 23 different countries, with the top four represented nationalities being from Ghana (17 percent), Egypt (14 percent), Sudan (10 percent) and Niger (8 percent). Female respondents were mostly in their 20’s (69 percent) and married (58 percent). Nearly half (48 percent) reported not having obtained any formal education, especially those from Ghana and Niger. Seventeen percent of respondents had obtained primary education and 28 percent obtained secondary or vocational education.

Eight out of 10 of female migrants surveyed reported having departed their countries for economic reasons, the majority also choosing their countries of intended destination for economic factors. Thirty-eight percent of those interviewed cited Libya as their country of destination, with other countries being frequently cited including Italy (23 percent) and France (15 percent). The presence of relatives was also a big factor influencing migrants’ choice of destination, particularly Germany. Three percent of respondents cited Germany as their country of intended destination with 25 percent of them choosing it due to their relatives being there.

The vast majority of females interviewed (83 percent) were unemployed in their countries of origin. Of the 17 percent who were employed, the majority (63 percent) were engaged in household work, with the remainder being evenly distributed across other sectors (retail and manufacturing, hospitality, agriculture and pastoralism, and others). Women from Niger reported higher levels of employment than those coming from other countries.

For the full report, please see here.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 296 00389, Email: or Dan Salmon, Tel: +216 29 235097, Email: