On the last day of the WIDE conference, in the second part entitled Exposing, Resisting and Developing Alternatives we went deeper into envisioning alternatives, how we could build bridges between several migrant women’s groups and the women’s movement as well as towards other movements, thus be inclusive in diversity.
The first to speak was Dilber Aydin from the International Free Women’s Foundation. She spoke of the problems that Kurdish women confront within Europe, mentioning that her NGO helps beneficiaries from Turkey, Iraq, Kurdish regions. It also organizes programs for educating migrant women in order to address that knowledge represents a weapon, which can help them fight for their rights or programs in order to stimulate these women sociologically, their cultural development in order to achieve financial sustainability by their one.
The third speaker was Dora Aguirre, past migrant, now a member of the Ecuadorian Parliament. She talked about a very important movement that managed to change the status of women migrants. After the constitution was changed, women not only that could vote but they could also participate in elections both in their original and their host country. A third and important change influenced the fact that they only could elect their president but, this title could be given through elections to both men and women alike.
If at first the migrants had no voice or anyone to speak on their behalf, Mrs. Aguire”s organization, with the help of churches and through several meetings, managed to change the constitution in such way that Ecuadorians could vote, have a woman or men for president both in the country of origin and host, all in all I could say a very important movement for a minority without anyone to advocate for their rights.
Sinziana Ghise & Ana Maria Oteanu, participants at Panel 4, third day of the conference.