MIGS, in partnership with the European Women’s Lobby (www.womenlobby.org) and with the support of the European Programme on Integration and Migration (EPIM) of the Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation (NEF), implemented a project within the framework of the project “Equal Rights, Equal Voices: Migrant Women in the EU”.
Within this framework, MIGS in cooperation with KISA – Action for Support, Equality and Anti-Racism organized a capacity building workshop which aimed at empowering migrant women and initiating the development of a migrant woman organization that could, in future, act as the Cyprus national platform for the European Network of Migrant Women (ENMW). The workshop took place on the 20 December 2009 at the KISA and twenty migrant women from various communities (Philippines, Sri-Lanka, India, Mymar, Bangladesh, and Indonesia) participated. Charito Basa was our expert trainer with expertise on gender, migration and development.
The objective of the workshop was to provide migrant women with the necessary tools to effectively advocate for their rights on a national level and to initiate the development of a migrant women’s organization in Cyprus that will have the capacity to sustain itself in time and act as a national platform of the European Network of Migrant Women in the future. The workshop attracted women that have the leadership abilities and experience to initiate such a migrant women’s organization in Cyprus. The participants came together and identified their differences and similarities and demonstrated great determination and commitment to work together to succeed in this. During the workshop Charito Basa touched on issues such as developing leadership skills, the development of vision, as well as empowerment issues and asked participants to think about how to put one’s personal vision into action and to reflect on what empowerment means to them.
The workshop was concluded with a session on future planning and on identifying participants’ needs for further training. The participants expressed the desire for follow-up training on issues such as the Cyprus legislation on migration, human rights, organizing and networking, as well as lobbying and advocacy.
On 21 December the project was concluded with the organization of a policy seminar that took place at the University of Nicosia, UNESCO Amphitheatre. The aim of the seminar was to expose and explore issues affecting migrant women in the EU and in Cyprus and discuss the need to integrate gender mainstreaming in migration and integration policies in Cyprus. More than 30 participants attended the seminar including MPs, journalists, the Secretary General of the National Machinery for Women’s Rights, NGOs and migrant women. Keynote speaker was Ms Virginia Greiner, President of the ENMW, who presented the network, its aims and objectives. Other speakers included Soritoulla Charalambous, Minister of Labor and Social Insurance, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Minister of Interior, Amandine Bach, Policy Officer and Project Coordinator at the European Women’s Lobby, Charito Basa, Expert, and Anthoula Papadopoulou, Member of the Steering Committee, Action for Support Equality and Antiracism.
The event received extensive coverage in the television and print media. To view coverage in the print media please visit MIGS in the Media.