On Monday 11 October 2021, in the context of the International Day of the Girl Child 2021, the European Network of Migrant Women organized a conference aimed to develop a state of the art report on the violence against migrant girls and access to girls’ rights in Belgium. They were joined by their Young Women’s Group RadicalGirlsss and their Belgium-based members isala, La Voix des Femmes, Arab Women Solidarity Association Belgium and feminist filmaking collective Elles Tournent.
After a presentation of the European Network of Migrant Women and the specific issues linked to migrant girls and a screening of the clip “La Otra Mitad”, each representative was able to introduce herself and her organization:
- Maria from La Voix des Femmes addressed her organisation’s support of girls’ victims of honor crimes, in particular early marriages and religious marriages as well as the challenges of family dynamics in this very complex phenomenon. Maria also put forward the universalism of women’s rights and patriarchal mechanisms for controlling the bodies of girls and women.
- Emma Gooding from Oasis Belgium addressed the impact on girls who grow up in households where they have witnessed intrafamiliar violence as well as the issue of mothers fighting for child custody in court.
- Adriana S.Thiago from RadicalGirlsss spoke about violence against girls that constitutes pornography as well as its impacts in daily life – sexualization, cyberviolence and street harassment.
- isala, the only grassroot organisation that supports women in prostitution as well as their exit journeys in Brussels, developed the issue of prostitution of underage girls in Belgium.
Finally, they touched upon the subject of feminist sexuality education with Ihssan Himich from AWSA-Be, whom dealt with the intercultural and feminist approach in EVRAS (education in relational, emotional and sexual life).
To conclude these speeches, they broadcast the clip “Waiting for me, Madame Ghandi” brought to them by Elles Tournent.
It was a night rich in knowledge and emotions. Thanks to everyone for coming!!