End violence against all women, regardless of migration status

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NNIRR is proud to share this statement from our international alliance, the Women and Global Migration Working Group (WGMWG).

According to the WGMWG, "This International Women’s Day, March 8th, is celebrated during a period of intense global movement of migrants and refugees—and corresponding levels of racial and xenophobic hostility as well as inspiring acts of generous humanity. At the global level, many governments are torn by the reality of unprecedented numbers of people on the move, multiplying the complexity of addressing immediate needs as well as underlying 'root causes' and humane policy solutions."

On International Women’s Day, the Women and Global Migration Working Group urges a public reaffirmation: all women should be safe from sexual and gender based violence, regardless of the migration status of the women or the perpetrators of such acts.

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Speak out against xenophobia, racism

and violence against women

The Women and Global Migration Working Group denounces violence against women in all its forms.  However, we also strongly condemn the "othering" of perpetrators of gender-based violence, such as happened in the reporting of widespread sexual attacks and harassment of women in central Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve 2015. In the immediate aftermath we witnessed a frighteningly xenophobic and racist reaction in the media and political commentary that led to physical attacks on migrant and refugee men in the name of ‘protecting women’.

We loudly reject racist tropes about black and Muslim men. Stereotyping, racial and religious profiling of their sexual behaviour and/or misogyny, with absolutely no evidence to suggest that migrant men are more likely than other men to commit sexually aggressive acts, is both racist and xenophobic. In Europe, the rush to protect women is being used to feed anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment and a backlash against newcomers desperately seeking refuge from war and oppression. This has disturbing historical echoes in the use of violence against Black slaves in the US, or colonised peoples in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East in the name of “protecting our women”.

All women should be safe from sexual and gender based violence, regardless of the migratory status of the women or the perpetrators of such acts. Women are assaulted by people who have access to them—whatever the race, religion, nationality or country of birth of victims or aggressors. This is borne out by the experiences of migrant women in countries of origin, transit, return and destination. (Click here to read the entire the statement) (para version en español, clic aquí)

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Join NNIRR and partners in the Women and Global Migration Group for an interactive workshop in New York on March 17. This year's workshop,Empowering Women in Migration, that will "explore women in migration in the context of global inequalities." It is convened during the UN's annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women. For details, visit the WGMWGFacebook event page.