EUROPEAN NETWORK OF MIGRANT WOMEN (ENOMW) is the only Europe-wide feminist umbrella organisation that directly represents the opinion of migrant & refugee women & girls at the European and International level. Our diverse membership includes the women of Arab, African, Asian, Latin American and Eastern European descent and extends to over 40 migrant women grass-root and advocacy groups in 20 European countries.
All our lives, as girls, as young women, we have been told over and over that women never invented, women never created, women never existed.
When we were girls and first started reading, books taught us that boys could do anything – explore and conquer, fight injustice, save others and themselves. The same books never showed that girls were able to do the same. They made us believe that we were supposed to wait around for a boy to come and save us. Because in books and fairytales, the only women with power are witches and we are told that witches are bad. They are destined to be ugly, mean and always alone.
When we were girls and first started going to school, we looked around and all we saw were boys – running around, occupying space like it was theirs, exploring and conquering, similar to the books we read. Girls? We were stuck on the sides, always discreet, always calm, because a girl is supposed to be that way, right? Pretty with nice clothes that prevent us from running, nice hair that prevent us from seeing. Soft and sweet, unable to defend ourselves when boys came to lift our skirts or stole kisses, unable to find help because the adults used to always look the other way and say “boys will be boys”.
A Letter to the Young Woman I Once Was (And Still Am)
One day, you will look back and realize that there was no shame in being angry.
You will look back and realize that you were nor selfish, nor wrong to object and to speak to structures in which women, of all ages and all backgrounds, are systematically oppressed.
Systematically disregarded. Systematically wounded. Systematically harmed. Systematically scarred. Systematically beaten. Systematically brutalized. Systematically raped. Systematically killed. Systematically silenced.
One day, you will look back and realize that your outcries, your “no’s”, your resistance, they were fundamental for you to not engage in the same patterns of silent obedience and acquiescence. You will realize that your conscient objection had a deeper meaning: that of leaving a world behind in which girls, like the one you once were, are not systematically oppressed.
Systematically coerced. Systematically scared. Systematically dead.
Speak, young woman, speak out. Question, young woman, question those codes which want to reduce you to a body. A mother, a wife. A tomb. Question that which smells and feels unfair.
Scream, young woman, scream your no’s and your wants, scream your don’ts and your knots.
Use your body as a political tool.
When asked to write the first post, we took the task with so much enthusiasm, although we weren’t convinced about the different topics of discussion. Then, we spent a couple of hours writing down sentences about prostitution, feminism, solidarity and equality, but as the words were taking form on the document, it sounded so academic and very far from our own feelings.
That’s why we found ourselves deleting different sentences and writing down disconnected thoughts around anger and vulnerability.
Anger, as young women are trying so hard to resist, while fighting to ensure that our existence is recognized.
We resist, even when the world doesn’t notice that we exist.
Vulnerability, as days pass and we find ourselves compromising our dreams, and, inevitably, our own emotions.
Anger, despair, a world in which girls are not free to express their concerns led to the creation of Radical Girlsss.
WEBINAR DATE: 28 March 3pm CET
We are taking part in the webinar “Counter Voices of migrant, including undocumented and refugee women against neo-right Populism and other threats”, organised by WIDE+ !
Webinar Description: How voices of organised migrant, including undocumented and refugee women, counter neo-right Populism and other threats: Strategies and Practices
– Jelena Hrnjak – Program manager at Atina (Serbia)
– Alyna Smith – Platform International Cooperation Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
– Anna Zobnina – European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW)
– Sodfa Daaji – Afrika Youth Movement / ENoMW
– Jennifer Kamau – International Women Space
FEMINIST FORUM, organised by European Parliament Coalition GUE/NGL
BRUSSELS, 7 MARCH 2019
YOUNG MIGRANT WOMEN RESISTING PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE
“The topic of my speech today is about building a feminist generation, that will be a strong feminist generation. It is about the young migrant women who, like all women, are the victims of violence, linked to the fact that we still live in a world where men are in charge; a world of men’s domination.
The young migrant women experience high pressure in the country of origin, and they also play a crucial role in fighting the male oppression.
For this reason young women often leave the country of origin to study abroad, or to find a job, or to look for a better life, to flee men’s control. These women arrive with skills, capacity, and full of energy, and again, suddenly, are dominated by men. This is a vicious circle for them in which men try to gain control over them, over and over again.
MANIFESTO 8 MARCH 2019: IN THE FACE OF BARBARISM, FIGHT FOR FEMINISM
More must be done to help women and girl refugees and migrants
– Council of Europe, Athens, 3 October 2018 (source: Council of Europe)
At a Council of Europe conference today in Athens to focus on challenges faced by women and girl refugees and migrants, Anna Zobnina, Strategy & Policy Coordinator for the European Network of Migrant Women stressed that not enough is being done to care for the specific needs of women and girl migrants.
More should be done to construct facilities for women specific needs, she told some 100 participants, including government staff and NGOs dealing with refugees in both origin and destination countries.
Many more boys are being officially recorded as unaccompanied, but what about the girls, she stressed, pointing out that half of the refugee population is made up of women and girls: “Girls are going missing”.
Are you an Opera or Arts Educator? You can’t miss this opportunity!
In the frames of Get Close to Opera project funded by the Erasmus+ we will be in Italy in the end of February delivering a training on inclusive art education ! Apply for #getclosetoopera Training Week! It will take place from the 25th of February until the 1st of March 2019 in Matera 2019, Italy.
Find out more and apply: https://www.getclosetoopera.eu/training-week/
Are you an #Opera or #Arts #Educator? You can't miss this #opportunity! Apply for #getclosetoopera #Training Week! It will take place from the 25th of February until the 1st of March 2019 in Matera 2019, Italy.Find out more on: https://www.getclosetoopera.eu/training-week/
Slået op af Get Close to Opera i Søndag den 9. december 2018
10 December 2018, Brussels
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been accompanied by various activities around different human rights-related themes. The Declaration consists of 30 articles and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. Since then, Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year. As a major milestone in the effort to provide human rights protection to all human beings irrespective of nationality, sex, ethnic origin, religion, race and legal status, the Declaration served as a model for international human rights treaties around the world.
While we celebrate human rights day, it is also high time to ask whose human rights are guaranteed and under which conditions migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women and girls ‘enjoy’ their fundamental human rights.
Although universal in spirit, state-centred nature of human rights treaties allows countries to establish their own standards and accord rights differently with regards to status (e.g. undocumented, refugee, asylum seeker). The lack of real international enforcement mechanisms for human rights enables countries to comply with treaties at their own discretion. This selective enforcement considerably limits the rights of migrant women and girls.
The following recommendations are based on the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), which entered into force on 1 August 2014.
The Istanbul Convention focuses specifically on protecting asylum seeking and refugee women in its Articles 60 “Gender-based asylum claims” and 61 “Non-refoulement”. Unfortunately, when having a closer look at enforcement possibilities of those provisions, it becomes clear, that hard consequences cannot be enforced on the signatory states. This lack of accountability makes implementing the Convention especially hard.
A lot of actors, such as the European Parliament have tried to change the situation by urging the Member States to implement certain measures. (Examples: EP report on gender-related asylum claims in Europe, EP resolution on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU, GREVIO and NGO-coalition report on the situation in the different countries). However, those measures have only limited impact.
This article gives a brief overview on the most important measures on how to establish a fairer outcome.