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> Project "Equal Rights. Equal Voices. Migrant Women in the EU"

The EWL has been running a project since 2006 for and with migrant women’s organisations across Europe that aims to actively involve migrant women’s organizations in the development, monitoring and implementation of policies at the European level: ’Equal Rights. Equal Voices. Migrant Women in the European Union’. One of the main achievements of this project has been the launch on 18 June 2010 of the European Network of Migrant Women, an independent network that is since 2009 an EWL Associate Member. The project has been supported by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) of the Network of European Foundations, as well as the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

 

Presentation of ENoMW in Spain

4 July 2011, Madrid

Posted on 1 July 2011

The European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) and the Association of Professional Women for Integration and Equality – AMPI -, invite you to the presentation of “The European Network of Migrant Women in Spain. Visibility of migrant women”

Place: Sala Europa, European Commission Office in Madrid (Paseo de la Castellana 46, Madrid –metro Rubén Darío)

Date and Time: 4 July 2011, 13.00-15.00

Please confirm: + 34 62527772 /+ 34 913694662 ampi.asociacion@gmail.com

Documents:

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Family Reunification is central to the well-being of migrant women and to the successful integration of their families

Joint ENoMW-EWL Statement on the occasion of the international day of families

Posted on 18 May 2011

Family Reunification is central to the well-being of migrant women and to the successful integration of their families

Since its formation in 2007, the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) has worked to draw attention to the importance of family reunification policies for migrant women – both for their well-being and for the integration chances of their families as a whole. The practice of tying residence permits and rights to the fortunes of a primary migrant reinforces gender inequalities within migrant communities. The ENoMW and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) see ‘dependent status’ is an unnatural family situation in itself, which has detrimental effects on women, in terms of their social inclusion, self-confidence and realisation in life.

The ENoMW and the EWL maintain that family members’ access to autonomous permits is a weakness in most EU countries. This puts many migrant women experiencing domestic violence in a precarious situation. The migrant women in question are inclined to endure domestic abuse longer, as they are threatened with the possibility of becoming undocumented, homeless and without means of support. Therefore, the ENoMW and the EWL call on EU governments to put an end to policies establishing dependency between family members.

In addition, the ENoMW and the EWL are increasingly worried that more and heavier conditions are attached to the family reunification rights of immigrants in Europe, with many countries requiring high incomes for family reunion. Conditions linked to income and housing for example put migrant women at a direct disadvantage because they are often low earners and employed in low skilled jobs such as domestic work. This results in migrant women having fewer chances in qualifying for reunification with their family members. The ENoMW and the EWL call for gender sensitive family reunification policies that recognise the specifics in migrant women’s lives and promote their chances at happiness within their families and communities.

Note to editors:

The European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) is an innovative network bringing together more than one hundred non-governmental and non-profit organisations from 16 European Union countries to democratically represent the concerns, needs and interests of migrant women at EU-level.

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 27 EU member states and three of the candidate countries, as well as to 21 European-wide bodies, representing a total of more than 2500 organisations.

Download the Statement here in Word format:

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EU Member States must guarantee equality by giving migrant women autonomous status, says ENoMW

Posted on 18 March 2011

EU Member States must guarantee equality by giving migrant women autonomous status, says ENoMW

[Brussels, 28 February 2011] Officials, experts and representatives of civil society gathered today in Brussels for the launch of the third edition of the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), a long-term project which evaluates and compares what governments are doing to promote the integration of migrants in all EU Member States and several non-EU countries. Among the findings of the latest report is an issue of particular concern to the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW): few Member States guarantee the autonomous status of spouses, even in situations of domestic violence.

Since its formation in 2007 as a platform for the voices of migrant women’s organisations from across Europe, the ENoMW has worked to draw attention to the importance of family reunification policies for migrant women – both for their wellbeing and for the integration chances of their families as a whole. In the majority of cases however, the practice of tying residence permits and rights to the fortunes of a primary migrant reinforces gender inequalities within migrant communities.

Speaking at the launch of the MIPEX report on behalf of the Network, Nusha Yonkova insisted that ‘dependent status is an unnatural family situation in itself, and has detrimental effects on women, in terms of their social inclusion, self-confidence and realisation in life.’

The MIPEX report confirms that family members’ access to autonomous permits is a weakness in most EU countries. It is encouraging that some countries, such as Belgium, Norway, the UK and Sweden, guarantee the autonomous status of spouses. However, many barriers remain even in these countries: in the UK for example, the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule means that, in practice, women do not have the choice of living independently as they are not entitled to support such as housing or other welfare benefits open to nationals and those with ‘settled’ status.

According to Ms. Yonkova, the need to amend this is particularly urgent for migrant women victims of domestic violence. Citing evidence from different EU countries showing that migrant women are inclined to endure domestic abuse longer than their non-migrant counterparts as they are threatened by the possibility to become undocumented, homeless and without means of support, she calls on EU governments to put an end to policies establishing dependency between family members: ‘It is utterly unacceptable that, in the European Union, scores of women experiencing domestic violence find themselves in a situation whereby their rights are dependent on abusive spouses.’

In addition, the ENoMW is increasingly worried that more and heavier conditions are attached to the family reunification rights of immigrants in Europe. According to the MIPEX report, many countries require high incomes for family reunion.

Conditions linked to income and housing for example put migrant women at a direct disadvantage because they are often low earners, employed in low-skilled jobs such as domestic work. This results in migrant women having fewer chances in qualifying for reunification with their family members. Evidence from the Netherlands for example shows that the tightening of criteria has led to a decrease of women as sponsors.

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EWL-ENoMW Contribution to Second European Agenda on Integration (August 2010)

10 key recommendations

Posted on 31 August 2010

The European Network of Migrant Women and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) have been closely following integration policies at the local, regional, national and European level. We have focused our work on the gendered dimension of integration policies and have strived to ensure that integration policies lead to an improvement of migrant women’s lives. We aim to bring to this debate the experience of migrant women’s and women’s organisations on the ground.

You will find below 10 key recommendations to be included in the second European Agenda for Integration in order to ensure that integration policies take into account migrant women’s specific situations and needs.

Download the full Contribution:

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Official launch of the European Network of Migrant Women (18 June 2010)

Posted on 18 June 2010

Official launch of the European Network of Migrant Women (18 June 2010)

The official launch of the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW), took place in Brussels in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee on 18 June 2010. More than 160 participants were present, including a number of high-level speakers. Representatives from the ENoMW, from a variety of European countries, were also present. The launch was followed by a two-day strategic meeting of the network aimed at reflecting on the achievements and challenges of the network at European and national level until now and devising the way forward. A new board was elected that is made of: Virginia Wangare Greiner (chair), Alwiye Xuseyn (vice-chair), Hakima Lasham Lakhrissi (treasurer), Karima Ben Ahmed (secretary), Ksenia Naranovich, Miryam Fuentes and Suzanne Monkasa. See the photos of the launch here and the press pack here.

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ENoMW calls on ministers for integration to consider migrant women

Posted on 15 April 2010

European Network of Migrant Women Open Letter to the Ministers attending the 4th Ministerial Conference on Integration, Zaragoza (15-16 April 2010)

The European Network of Migrant Women released an open letter calling on the Ministers attending the 4th Ministerial Conference on the Integration of Immigrants in Zaragoza, Spain on 15-16 April 2010 to look particularly at the situation of migrant women as key social and economic actors in the integration of immigrants.

Download the open letter:

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Joint Factsheet on Women and Migration

Posted on 16 February 2010

The European Women’s Lobby and the European Network of Migrant Women drafted jointly with the Research center METICES of the Free University of Brussels and the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) a factsheet on women and migration. The purpose of this fact sheet is to raise awareness among members of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) on the impact of migration policies on migrant women and the need to integrate a gender perspective in migration, integration and asylum policies.

This fact sheet will enhance the capacity of ENAR members to develop mechanisms to document and address the gender gaps in immigration/integration policies in their work. It provides an overview on the state of play of the debate, by defining the key target groups and issues at stake, as well as challenging the dominant public perception of migrant women. Following sections look into the international and European political agenda by outlining the key international human rights instruments for protecting women’s rights, and the current European developments in migration, integration and asylum policies by mapping the challenges faced by migrant women in the European Union. Finally the different civil society activities that are taking place in this area are outlined.

Download the full fact sheet:

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EWL Project featured at Kvinfo International Conference on Mentoring and Networking

November 2009

Posted on 7 November 2009

EWL Project featured at Kvinfo International Conference on Mentoring and Networking

The Kvinfo international conference on Mentoring and Networking featured EWL project coordinator, Amandine Bach as well as 2 members of the network as speakers Alwiye Xuseyn (AkiDwA, Ireland) and Sabe Amthor Soe (EKS, Czech Republic). The EWL project “Equal Rights. Equal Voices. Migrant Women in the European Union” was presented as a best project practice in plenary.

Download the EWL presentation:

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EWL and ENoMW hold conference on Gender and Integration Policies

1 December 2008

Posted on 2 December 2008

On 1 December 2008, the EWL and the members of the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) co-organised a high-level conference focusing on ’Integrating a gender perspective in integration policies: the way forward’. High-level decision-makers from the European Commission and international organisations (International Labour Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), academics shared at this occasion their perspectives on the issue of integration with the members of the European Network of Migrant Women.

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Participation in ENAR seminar on migration

November 2008

Posted on 7 November 2008

Participation in ENAR seminar on migration

Three members of the European Network of Migrant Women spoke at a workshop on « Challenges and opportunities from a local authority and gender perspective » at the European Network Against Racism seminar on “Framing a positive approach to migration” in Paris on 6-7 November 2008. The workshop was organised by the European Women’s Lobby and the Cities for Local Integration Policy (CLIP) network. Facilitated by Amandine Bach from EWL, it featured the following speakers from the network: Meri Kumbe (Cultural house of Albanian Immigrants in Greece), Salome Mbugua (Akidwa, Ireland) and Karima Ben Ahmed (Forum femmes Mediterranée, France).

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