On July 27, 2021 the European Network of Migrant Women held the Teach Digital Migrant Women Focus Groups.
As a European-wide Network working for the advancement of the rights and freedoms of migrant and refugee women in Europe, we chose to anchor our focus group on violence against migrant women as well as the barriers in accessing the digital world. During the focus group, based on their lived realities, the women put forward the various barriers hampering the access and use of digital technologies: language barriers, lack of legal and administrative status, non-recognition of qualifications stemming from their country of origin, lower levels of formal education and childcare… All of these factors pose a problem to accessing digital tools and retaining digital strategies.
Recommendations stemming from the focus group:
- Digital technologies should come in various languages and not just the main EU languages;
- Internet access should be free or, at least, reduced in price and accessible in all public spaces;
- Adult educators working with migrant women should be trained in violence against women and girls & clearly acknowledge that the latter is one of the main barriers for migrant women in the digital world i.e. how can a woman suffering violence look for online help under the control of an abusive partner?
- Digital training facilities should include the possibility of childcare for migrant mothers who wish to pursue their informal or formal education;
- Free internet access in shelters and organisations for victims of male violence as well as reception centres for asylum-seekers;
- Access to digital material (laptops, computers, tablets) in shelters and organisations for victims of male violence as well as reception centres for asylum-seekers;
- As the current pandemic has only accelerated the shift towards digitalisation, to give the opportunity to migrant and refugee women to enter the digital labour market by accessing available digital training in their country. Such digital training should not be mixed i.e. same sex lessons and training.