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.
Disappointing lack of progress on violence against women one year after EU signing landmark Treaty
Brussels, 13 June 2018 – On the occasion of the first anniversary of the signature of the Istanbul Convention by the European Union (EU), the European Coalition to end Violence against Women and Girls regrets that strong progress towards the ratification has been hindered by retrograde forces, and calls for concluding the process without further delay.
Violence against women threatens the security of half of the population in the EU, affecting over 250 million women and girls. One in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 and 96% of EU citizens consider that violence against women is unacceptable. European citizens want action and there is no more time to waste.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding treaty in Europe that criminalises multiple forms of violence against women. It emphasises and recognises that violence against women is a human rights violation, a form of discrimination against women, and a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men.
On 13 June 2017, the EU signed the Istanbul Convention, sending a very strong political message on its commitment to end violence against women and girls.
Yet today, one year on the EU has unfortunately made little progress with the ratification process. While the European Parliament adopted a strong resolution last September, the Council negotiations on the Code of Conduct remain ongoing, and, with a complex process to undertake in accession to the Convention, the need for immediate action has become critical. Therefore, we urge the upcoming Austrian EU Presidency to stand up for women and advance the ratification process as swiftly as possible, to ensure that all women and girls in Europe can live their lives free from violence.
We, the European Coalition to end Violence against Women and Girls call for
- The Council of the European Union to ratify immediately the Istanbul Convention, within the most effective scope of EU competence;
- EU Member States who have not yet done so to ratify the Istanbul Convention without further delay and without reservations, and to put in place the necessary legislative and policy framework to ensure its adequate implementation, including allocating sustainable and adequate funding, and cooperating with civil society and women’s rights organisations;
- EU Institutions to fully integrate the Istanbul Convention into the EU legislation and policy framework, establishing an effective and representative EU monitoring framework;
- The European Commission and EU Member States to develop a comprehensive EU Strategy to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to address all the structural issues that fuel this violence;
- The EU to appoint an EU coordinator on ending violence against women and girls, with a strong political mandate and responsibility to: coordinate the EU Strategy and all the efforts of the relevant EU Institutions and agencies (EIGE, FRA, EUROJUST, EASO, EUROSTAT, etc.); and to facilitate the exchange of good practices for the implementation of the Convention at the national level.
We hope that next year we will not celebrate another anniversary without the final EU ratification.
The European Coalition to End Violence against Women and Girls is an extensive strategic alliance of more than 25 cross-European human rights and social justice civil society organisations working collectively to ensure that women and girls across Europe can live their lives free from all forms of violence.
You are warmly invited to a seminar on Tuesday 22nd of May, 9:00-12:00, in room A7F387, European Parliament, Brussels, organised jointly by the Culture Project, the European Network of Migrant Women, and the Coppieters Foundation. The seminar will bring together experts and activists from around Europe to critically examine the intersection between the different forms of fundamentalism and the neoliberal agenda, and its impact on the collective rights of women and minorities in Europe.
Please see more details below.
COLLUSION OF FUNDAMENTALISM & NEO-LIBERALISM:
ITS IMPACT ON WOMEN AND MINORITY RIGHTS
The last two decades have witnessed a rapid rise of fundamentalism, the far right, and other extremist, even violent, movements across the globe. From the USA and the UK, to Russia, Turkey, and Poland, the extremist organisations driven by radical religious and nationalist ideologies, have been jeopardising the rights of women, sexual minorities, and migrants. These movements reject universal human rights, attack female sexual and reproductive status, attempt to criminalise homosexuality and dehumanise migrants and ethnic minorities.
Though clearly incited by the nationalist, populist, and patriarchal interests, these developments have also been aided by the simultaneous rise of neo-liberal ideology, particularly in the form cultural relativism and identity politics, which seek to discourage political analysis and promotes the politics of individualized self-identification and self-segregation over collective organising and solidarity.
In Europe, this collusion between the two seemingly different forces, resulted in the de-secularization of public policy; in particular, the relations between the state and ethnic minorities. Thus, during the years since 1990, religio-legalism – the enforcement of religious law by specifically religious courts – has become tolerated or endorsed by civil governments and NGOs alike. This had and has a tragic effect on the rights of women, of ethnic minorities, and raised legitimate concerns among feminist and women ethnic minorities groups.
In the context of these political developments, the European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW) and the Culture Project (Kurdish) organise a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The seminar will bring together the experts from around Europe to critically examine the intersection between the different forms of fundamentalism and the neo-liberal agenda, and its impact on the collective rights of women & minorities in Europe.
- MEP Jill Evans, Greens/EFA
- MEP Julie Ward, S&D
- Rahila Gupta, Southall Black Sisters
- Leda Garina, Eve’s Ribs (Ребра Евы)
- Ibtissame Lachgar, M.A.L.I. Le Mouvement Alternatif pour les Libertés Individuelles
- Houzan Mahmoud, Culture Project
- Mirjana Kučer, European Women’s Lobby
- Maryam Namazie, One Law for All
- Anna Zobnina, European Network of Migrant Women
Seminar is supported by Coppieters Foundation
NOURA HUSSEIN HAMMAD 19 y.o. SUDAN
CHILD & FORCED MARRIAGE
HONOUR BASED VIOLENCE
DEFENDED HER LIFE & DIGNITY
SENTENCED TO DEATH
Brussels, Sunday 13 May 2018
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Twitter: @Sodfadaaji @badreldins @AfrikaYM @ENOMW @EqualityNow
- Petitions: Avvaz & Change.org
On 10 May 2018 Sudanese court OMDURMAN KHARTOUM, governed by the Sharia Law of Sudan, issued a death sentence, by hanging, to Noura Hussein for killing the man to whom she was forcibly married while defending herself against rape and sexual abuse at his hands.
Noura Hussein was forcibly married off at the age of 16 years and was subjected to sexual and physical violence by her “husband”. In self-defense, Noura killed her “husband” after he attempted to rape her, yet again after having raped her while she was held down by his relatives.
March 8, 1908 at the call of the New York Social Democratic Women’s Organization, the first rally for the equality of women was held in America. On this day, more than 15,000 women marched through the city of New York. It was indeed a revolution in the minds of women and the expression of disagreement with the old patriarchal order.
In the course of history, the Soviet propaganda, to our surprise, decided to change the spirit of this movement. Heroic and victorious, and certainly tragic, revolution in the history women’s fight for their rights – it was replaced with the gifts of flowers and women’s perfume.
WOMEN AND GIRLS IN THE GLOBAL COMPACT ON REFUGEES
Brussels, 14 February
On 13 February National Governments started negotiations on the Global Compact on Refugees. The Compact is supposed to have four key elements:
- Easing pressures on countries that welcome and host refugees;
- Build self-reliance of refugees;
- Expand access to resettlement in third countries and other complementary pathways;
- Foster conditions that enable refugees voluntarily to return to their home countries.
Women and Girls’s needs and voices have been traditionally overlooked in the formulation of policies concerning refugees. Many organisations have voiced their concern over the lack of gender attention given to female refugees, which effectively leave them behind. ENOMW shares the concerns of many feminists organisations involved in the consultation process on the Compact. Now that the Compact is taken to the level of inter-governmental negotiations, it is crucial that we inform the states on the obligations they have to fulfil to meet the rights of female refugees. Together with our two members, Melissa Network Greece and Women Refugee Route, and with the support of CARE International UK, CPDE and ECRE we have launched an advocacy action to ensure that women and girls’ voices are not lost in the process.
WE DO NOT EXPECT MIRACLES. WE EXPECT WHAT’S POSSIBLE & RIGHT:
#1 – Leadership for Women
#2 – Gender Mainstreaming in the entire Compact
#3 – Funding for Grassroots Sevice-providers
#4 – End of Male Violence against Women
#5 – Rights for Girl-Child
#6 – Economic Opportunities
#7 – Accountability for Men
On 11-12 December 2017 we took part in the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges in Geneva. This was accompanies by an event on the situation of Refugee Girl-Children that we organised jointly with CARE, Melissa and Women Refugee Route, hosted by the Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU. We issued draft recommendations addressing the gaps and solutions for women and girls safety, dignity and security.
In line with the European Commission’s year focused on actions to combat violence against women, the project “Co-creating a Counselling Method for refugee women Gender-Based Violence victims” (CCM-GBV) (01/11/2017 – 31/10/2019) has received a project grant under the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a violation of human rights, largely affecting women. GBV against refugee women has particularly received heightened attention since the EU’s migration crisis. Even though the CEDAW, Istanbul Convention and the EU’s Reception Directive (2013/33/EU) stress that women are a particularly vulnerable group, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) highlighted GBV against refugee women – including forced marriage, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and physical assault – as an area of concern in its June 2016 report on the migration situation. Information on the extent of the GBV problem amongst refugee women within the EU is however lacking. Furthermore, the Council of Europe (2015) stresses that women with an insecure residence status often face the problem of having limited or no access to services making them aware of such rights. This situation leads to significant barriers in accessing certain types of interventions such as turning to the police, and may increase the period of time that women are exposed to abuse. Thus, it is very important for refugee women to receive adequate help from specialised support services in line with the REC-VAW-AG-2016 Call’s purpose that this project establishes through the co-creation of a counselling method. In this project, co-creation (=creating a service based on user experience) is used to create a specific counselling method, involving both end-users – meaning refugee women GBV victims – and service providers, the counsellors.
REFUGEE GIRL CHILD IN THE GLOBAL COMPACTS
Women and girls who flee conflict, crisis and natural disasters, or who migrate for other reasons, such as domestic violence or poverty, face specific threats, including human trafficking, exploitation and sexual violence and a denial of their basic human rights. Yet there is a lack of interest and understanding for the specific situation of women and girls on the move by decision-makers and the media. In addition, despite gains in policy and practice in recent years, the capacities of refugee women and girls are too often overlooked. They are underserved, poorly protected, and excluded from decision-making processes.
FEMINIST, REFUGEE, YOUNG WOMAN ACTIVIST
Brussels, 29 November
It is not a coincident that Mina Jaf, an Iraqi-Kurdish feminist, a refugee and a proud European resident, was awarded the prize in Youth Activism Category of 2017 Women of Europe Award.
Mina is a tireless advocate for the rights of women, with the focus of her work and activism on female refugees across Europe and beyond. In 2015 she founded her NGO Women Refugee Route, to empower migrant and refugee women to access their rights and to become effective self-advocates. Based in Denmark, Mina works in Greece, Italy and other locations with high numbers of refugees. In June 2017 she was elected the Vice President of European Network of Migrant Women to become a source of inspiration and wisdom for all of our members !
The Women in Europe Awards, created by the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby, are handed out annually to honour women striving to advance the European project in their professional or private capacity as the role of women in the European project remains largely unrecognised. The awards highlight the contribution of women in promoting and advancing European issues, and to increase their presence and involvement in debates about Europe and its future.
Well done Mina and keep up your great feminist work !
Copenhagen, 24-25 November
To mark the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender Based Violence we went to Copenhagen where, together with our Danish member Women Refugee Route (WRR), we organised a public event “Security and Tradition OR Violence against Women? Istanbul Convention and the Universal Rights of Female Migrants“. Our event also coincided with the publication of GREVIO Evaluation Report on Denmark released on 24 November, with one of the shadow rapporteurs to the GREVIO Committee as one of the panelist.
Why Denmark? Why Istanbul Convention? Why Migrant Women?
Denmark is known as one of the most progressive states in Europe. Not accidentally, the Business Insider ranks Denmark as “the second best country for women to live in”. But how accurate is this ranking and what factors do we consider when we name a place “best” for women?