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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Helsinki chapter.

Walking down any street in Finland, or the rest of the world, it is quite common to spot a migrant family. It is quite easy to instinctually judge, or even pity them at first glance, depending on your outlook or what we have been told to think. The media and news often portray immigrants in quite a negative way, and the terms “refugee” or “migrant” usually come with a lot of stereotyping or stigmas attached.

Immigration has been prominent and ongoing for centuries, and this new wave is due to similar factors: war, poverty, religious strife. But in today’s age, for refugees seeking asylum, or those luckyenough to immigrate, the journey doesn’t end when they reach the Promised Land. For many migrants, the transition can be quite difficult and demanding. Many countries have income requirements that are quite high, and in turn leave many families separated. For women migrants, it is an especially difficult decision because they have to think not only of themselves, but also of their families: present and future.

In many instances, men are the first to leave their countries and immigrate, and usually send for their spouses and children afterwards. This is due to the treacherous journeys that many migrants embark upon in search of safety. However, the women that do manage to migrate should be given a lot of recognition and respect; here are a few reasons why.

1. They are brave enough to leave everything familiar in search of a better life.

Many migrant women are subjected to the same horrors of conflict and war that migrant men are, and rarely get the recognition they deserve. In many instances, refugee women are subjected to domestic, sexual and various other forms of violence. However, the women are brave and courageous enough to move forward and leave their home country and start all over in a new one. Some are lucky enough to find asylum right away, but many are still in holding centres or refugee camps, all for the prospect safety and in many cases, their lives.

2. They are aware of the many challenges that await them and continue to look for solutions.

Moving away from home can be scary for anyone, but when the circumstances are dangerous and possibly fatal, it takes more than just bravery. Migrant women are aware of the risks they are taking, and the factors of uncertainty that await them. Regardless of the challenges they face, they continue to seek a better and safer environment.

3. They provide an outlook on the diversity of our ever changing world.

In a world full of people striving to fit in, differences can be unwelcome or frightening. Migrants’ uniqueness and diversity should be recognized in addition to their courage to migrate. Migrant women offer a new outlook on what it means to be a woman or girl in an era of equality: their struggles and triumphs demonstrate how important they are to a country’s cultural landscape. They bring along the best parts of their culture to their new location and enrich the culture in their new home country.

4. They continuously strive for a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Even after immigrating or seeking asylum, migrant women still have countless challenges to face. Racism, stereotyping, financial and economic issues, and cultural shock are just some of the obstacles that migrant women may have to face, and they do not go away overnight. In order to achieve a new, safer living environment for themselves and their families, migrant and refugee women must constantly look for new solutions to the problems they may face. Family migration is quite difficult within the EU and the rest of the world due to high income requirements placed on migrants, some of which are higher than the average earning of a naturalized citizen. If families do manage to immigrate all together, they face the challange of starting their lives over from scratch, with new jobs, schools, and socail systems to adjust to,

5. They endure unimaginable obstacles and still manage to inspire.

Who needs Wonder Woman; migrant women are even more badass than superheroes. Generations upon generations of girls and boys will look back upon their mothers and grandmothers and be inspired by their courage and bravery, just as we are today. They should not be look at with pity or shock, but rather respect and admiration. Their bravery and importance to their new countries, and their home countries, demonstrates how important safety, civil rights and proper homes – things we might take for granted – really are.

For more information on migrant women and their stories, visit your local refugee information centre’s website.

Helsinki Contributor