EWL News

Video clips highlight discrimination against migrant women in family reunification policies

[Brussels, 13 January 2012] The European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) have produced three video clips in order to make visible the discrimination against migrant women in family reunification provisions.

The clips tell the stories of three migrant women, Liz, Saheli and Claudia. Their stories highlight the main challenges that migrant women face due to the lack of gender sensitivity of migration policies, in particular family reunification policies.

The clips are the center-piece of the ENoMW and the EWL campaign for more gender sensitive family reunification provisions in the context of the forthcoming review of the EU family reunification legislation.

Clip I: Liz

Liz cannot reach the salary level needed to qualify for family reunification. She misses her children terrible but can’t afford to stop sending home the remittances. Children don’t understand the waiting period and feel rejected by their parents. It is mostly children who are joining under Family Reunification policies and not spouses.

Clip II: Saheli

Saheli is a dependent spouse. She has no rights of her own. Her presence and her residence permit in the country is dependent on her husband and on her relationship. Migrant women like Saheli endure abuse longer and suffer more. Legal dependency distorts family relations and reinforces patriarchal values.

Clip III: Claudia

Claudia cannot join her Danish partner in Denmark, even though they love each other. The family reunification rights of EU citizens are some times better protected outside of their country of origin. Many EU citizens are forced to undergo temporary relocations to fellow Member States in order to be allowed to live with their non-EU family members in Europe.

About the team

The clips were directed by Kevin de la Isla O’Neill and produced by Barrie Dowdall and Telwell Productions.


After leaving school in Mexico Kevin de la Isla O’Neill worked as a theatre actor and soap actor (Carrusel de las Américas) in Mexico City. He moved to Ireland in 1996 and studied film & TV in Coláiste Dhulaigh and at the University of Wolverhampton. He has written and directed several short films including, A Kings Tradition (9 awards at NYC midnight 2006, including Audience Award and Best Director), The Wacky Diary of a Pick Up Artist (NYCmidnight 2005 Best Director). He has also worked as a camera operator, A.P. and editor for TV3, Setanta and RTÉ. He directed the stage play Stoker (2009) at the New Theatre, Dublin, which was a total sell out. He edited The Confession directed by Thomas Hefferon, which screened at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2010 he won 1st prize in the Irish Jameson/Empire Done in 60 Seconds competition and ended in the top 10 out of over 5,000 entries at the International finals with his version of The Departed, which he shot, directed and edited. Most recently he won 1st prize for the 2nd time in a row the Irish Jameson/Empire Done in 60 Seconds competition with his version of ’Shadow of the Vampire’.


Barrie Dowdall is a producer, director and cameraman who has worked in the audio-visual sector since 1986. He is currently producing & co-directing with Siobhán Lynam a three part-series called BANISHED WOWEN which tells the story of the 25,000 women from Ireland & England who were transported to Australia from 1788 – 1852. Other work work includes: SANCTUARY (2009/2010) a series of monologues about asylum seekers in Ireland performed by actors and writers living in Ireland including Sebastian Barry, Marian Keyes, Mick Lally, Eileen Walsh, Aidan Kelly, and other leading performers and writers. CHILDRENS TV ON TRIAL (2007, BBC): EXILE IN HELL (2007, BCI, IFB, TG4) a drama-doc filmed on location in Tasmania about a group of convicts who escape from a penal colony and eventually engage in cannibalism as a means of survival; FORGIVENESS (2006) a short period drama on the Irish Civil War starring Barry McGovern. As programme consultant, SPIKE MILLIGAN – I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL (2005, BBC, RTE, ABC). Other work as producer & director includes: TOMAS – IN POWER & GRACEFUL (2005); the award winning NED KELLY (2003, TG4, IFB, AFC,); AFGHANISTAN – AFTER THE WAR (2002, PBS, The Bill Moyers Show) filmed in Afghanistan and Pakistan; THE LONG ROAD/AN BOTHAR FADA (2000, TG4, IFB); ONE MAN & HIS DOG (1998, Loopline, RTE); RUBY BACKDROP (1994, RTE).

He produced Ireland’s first ever Children’s cookery series, COOKING FOR THE QUEEN (20X5) for TG4. Corporate work as a cameraman includes 52 short films for the Sisters of Charity filmed extensively in Venezuala, Zambia and Nigeria, California and the UK. He has also travelled and filmed in the Middle East, the Himalayas and Indonesia. A former Irish representative of the European Documentary Network (EDN) . He has given documentary workshops and master classes in various third level institutions and written articles for DOX Magazine. Former Jury member of the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA), council member of the Irish Film Institute and Founder Board Member of the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival, Dublin.

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