New Publication: "Equal Rights, Equal Voices--Migrant Women in the European Union"
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:38 AM

Brussels 16/01/07 – On Friday 19/01, the European Women’s Lobby held a public seminar “Equal Rights, Equal Voices – Migrant women in the European Union” in Brussels. This seminar and the closed workshops sessions, which followed on 20-21 January, brought together for the first time migrant women leaders and activists, from all EU Member States. The migrant women have been identified with the support of the national coordinations of the European Women’s Lobby.

The public seminar culminated in the publication, "Equal Rights, Equal Voices--Migrant Women in the European Union."

“The issue of immigration is a critical area of concern in Europe particularly for women as not only is this policy being pursued in a framework of security and border control, the policy is also being developed with no consideration to the specific experiences and concerns of the tens of thousands of women who are migrating each year” said Kirsti Kolthoff, President of EWL.  “It is time that migrant women in Europe had the opportunity to speak out and to make their own voices heard particularly at European level. They are best placed to express their experiences in terms of migration and their needs in terms of integration and empowerment” added EWL President.

The aim of this 3 days event is to explore ways of translating the challenges that migrant women experience in their daily life into concrete recommendations to EU decision-makers. 

The keynote speakers of the public seminar include Anna Deutelmoser, (Office of Maria Böhmer, Minister of State and German Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration), Emine Bozkurt (Member of the European Parliament) and Sandra Pratt (Deputy Head, Immigration and Asylum Unit, DG Justice, Freedom and Security, European Commission).

In the second part of the session, a roundtable “What tools for advocating migrant women’s rights at European level?” will attempt to draw some recommendations with the support of researchers, key NGOs concerned and the European Commission.

 “We want to ensure that more attention is paid to the needs and rights of migrant women living in Europe and I am confident that this event marks the beginning of a new route towards gender equality and the advancement of the fundamental rights of migrant women in Europe” concluded Mary Mc Phail , Secretary General of EWL.

Compiled from: Migrant Women in Europe Speak Out, European Womens' Lobby, 16 January 2007.