Safety4Sisters are holding an event in Manchester People’s History Museum to help raise awareness about the lack of migrant women’s rights.
Manchester-based Safety4Sisters North West campaigns for justice for migrant women who have experienced gender or race-based violence.
On the 16th March, they are hosting the ‘Migrant Women Demanding Justice’ event at the People’s History Museum for anyone interested in how migrant women’s rights can be improved.
Sandhya Sharma, who runs Safety4Women said: “We have women who come in on spousal visas who have married British nationals, women on work visas, and student visas. There is a really wide range.”
“Women come in as asylum seekers, some women come in with documentation so they haven’t regularised their stay but all women that we work with have both insecure immigration statuses or will have experienced gender-based violence.”
The event will focus on the voices of migrant women, who will be sharing what justice means for them on the day.
“There are many women who come to us through the Greater Manchester Immigration Unit but largely they find us through word of mouth. Women find us because other women who have been supported by Safety4Women,” Sandhya says.
“The groups of women we work with are largely under the radar so it is not to their benefit to attract the attention of the authorities. We work with groups of women who don’t have access to mainstream services that female British nationals.”
Safety4Sisters offers a safe space for women to come together in solidarity and voice their issues.
“Human Rights are universal and indivisible, and they should be applied globally to all women. It should not be the case that British nationals have specific rights – all women’s rights are important, regardless of immigration status,” she said.
“The aim of the event is to ask what does justice look like for migrant women and how do we achieve it? This is a key question which is pertinent to our organisation and to every single woman who comes to us.”
It will host talks from revolutionary organisations such as Southall Black Sisters, a group who are at the forefront of meeting the needs of black and minority women. The event will also have speakers from the Latin American Women’s Rights Service who are a user-led, feminist and human rights organisation focused on addressing the issues and needs of Latin American migrant women.
“Both London organisations are joining forces with our tiny grassroots organisation in Manchester to raise the voices of migrant women in all work around gender-based violence.”
The event will connect individuals’ stories with a critical look at the current political climate.
“We have to focus on their needs because time and time again they are being ignored or are completely invisible in an all policy practice by local authorities.”
“We also want to make sure Safety4Sisters have a higher profile within the wider campaigning work being carried out. We have been campaigning since 2009, often against the grain and against the tide, and we have struggled to voice the concerns of migrant women.”
“We want to make our demands, which are for justice, freedom, safety, liberty, and dignity. To protect women coming forward regardless of their immigration status.”
“How can we celebrate the centenary of the partial rights vote for women without recognising that we have still got a long way to go for some of the most vulnerable women in our society? We have to link the two things together: Freedom and justice means freedom and justice for all women.”
The event will be held at 2:00 pm next Friday at the People’s History Museum, Leftback, Spinningfields, and entry is free to the public.
Follow the hashtag: #IWDJustice2018
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