On Friday 1st October 2021, the Mediterranean Women’s Forum organised a day dedicated to Rights of Migrant Women in the European Union. This day consisted of a training session on access to migrant women’s rights, followed in the afternoon by an intercultural dialogue café, a moment of musical exchange, and ended with the National Meeting of Migrant Women’s Associations, in order to pool our resources and skills to make migrant women’s demands visible in the public space.
After a presentation of the FORUM project, the training on migrant women’s rights on the laws put in place since the Beijing conference and their application took place throughout the morning and was led by Martine Levy, a doctor in Political Science, administrator of the Forum Femmes Méditerranée, Paris delegation.
We were able to hear the testimonies of women specialised in the legal issue, in particular Adama-Sira LEBLAY, president of the association Olympe, a lawyer specialised in foreign women’s rights, and Alyssa AHRABARE, project manager of the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW); preceded by Esther FOUCHIER’s presentation of the work and field experience of the Mediterranean Women’s Forum (which she founded in 1993) in relation to the rights of migrant women.
After the training, the participants were able to share a pleasant meal in the garden of the CCO Bernard Du Bois Social Centre, which hosted these meetings in Marseille. Afterwards, we met for an intercultural dialogue café with music by Christina ROSMINI, and Bruno CAVIGLIA, guitarist. Christina Rosmini is a multi-faceted artist and she feeds her compositions with music “from all over the South” in a colourful style, mixing poetry and humour with audacity and elegance. Her work exudes a profoundly humanist identitý, marked by commitment and spiritualitý, and most often declines themes around the Woman and the Mediterranean.
Following this festive moment and to conclude this day, the “National Meeting of Migrant Women” took place, which aims to promote the citizenship of migrant women, to pool the resources and skills of structures working in all areas concerning these women and which has as a permanent objective of updating the national directory to make them visible, an initiative that was carried out several years ago and which will be actualised following this meeting.
During the day, the exhibitions “Gender equality collages for the future: Transformations in the Euro-Mediterranean Space”, the result of an art competition organised by IEMed in collaboration with the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation, and “#EnsembleStopOppression”, a series of posters and quotations #RiseUpAgainstOppression, assembled by the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoWM), representing the diverse and global voices of women (feminist activists, academics, legal and policy experts, some of whom are also survivors of the sex trade) concerned with issues of sexual violence, exploitation and prostitution were visible on site.
We are very different, some of us are neighbourhood structures, others are national associations, researchers, academics, lawyers, but we were all gathered for equal rights and opportunities in the framework of a European network. Migrant women’s rights are inseparable from women’s rights and human rights in Europe and the MEDITERRANEAN and must not be ignored.
It was a day rich in exchanges, knowledge and emotions. Thank you all for coming to Marseille!