Yesterday, at the Working group 2, during the WIDE Conference 2010, we discussed the problem of violence against migrant women in Latin America and Europe (especially in UK), but of course, similar problems are everywhere in the world. So, what can we do to improve and protect the lives of the women migrants, taking under consideration that, in a foreign country, they become very vulnerable.
The Speakers, Katherine Ronderos from CAWN and Myriam Bell from LAWRS talked about their experiences of working with the migrant women, and all the problems those women face in an foreign country.
The main problem is that immigration lows in Spain, for example, makes the immigrant women more vulnerable. The lows doesn’t offer the migrants the certainty that they will be protect and not sent back home, when they address the public services, in case of a domestic violence abuse, for example. “The migrant women is moving trough a vicious circle, and they will suffer endless abuse before she manage to reach help…”, said Myriam Bell, representant of LAWRS (UK).
So, what is to be done? “Change the law! Change the discourse!” agreed the participants at this panel. We should talk about violence against women and human rights, when lobbing for the migrant women rights, not talk about migration laws. The women organizations and feminists should raise the attention that the EU officials doesn’t include the migrants when discussing about violence against women. They only take under the consideration the European women, not thinking that they should protect the human rights despite the fact a woman is, or is not resident of the EU.
“Keep lobbing! Keep the action and keep pushing about this issues. We have to do more about using media and transmit this message across the people !”, was the encourage of this debate, that all of us agreed. About this point is needed a short comment: include the journalists, the media workers in this very delicate debate by teaching them that those problems are very important. Might be very important for journalists to be included in workshops and teaching programs, because, seen from the inside of the mass-media system, journalists might be very ignorant about this feminist issues, because they really don’t understand them.