The NGO Alliance for solidarity presented last Wednesday, May 23, the report Migrant women as political subjects in the Valencian Country: creating strategies against violence,-under the Rights defenders meeting: participation of women migrants and the Global South organized in the college major Rector Peset-, a participatory diagnosis in which migrant women denounce violations of rights suffered by the Valencian territory and put in value its strategies of resistance against racist violence and patriarchal structural and everyday.
The research, carried out together with the study of Sociology the Dula, and funded by the Directorate-General of cooperation of the Generalitat Valenciana, which has framed the objectives of sustainable development (ODS), gathers the testimonies of dozens of women migrants and members of social organizations who work in the defence of their rights which have reported difficulties in access to decent employment, housing, political participation and health exclusion, as well as situations of social racism and gender-based violence to which they are exposed for being women, racialized and migrants.
It is the case of a woman of Algerian origin with 13 years of residence in Valencia, which explains that it has received insults on the street since it decided to put the hijab, or Islamic headscarf. "With the tissue looked at me wrong, I shouted, told me with insults and I cried. They called mora. A shop told me that what I had in the chest, that if he was hiding something, they thought that he had stolen. All this in front of my children."details.
With respect to the work, the document includes testimony denouncing situations of exploitation and abuse, especially in the work of the home and the care sector, and, in particular, in the internal. "I met a girl that did not let or heating your meal because they said in the House that worked it was dissipating gas and was very expensive. It was a girl who had studied Social work at a very prestigious University of Colombia", according to one of the testimonies. Women denounce also sexual abuse, lack of contract, days up to 12 hours, salaries far below the minimum wage, as well as that don't respect the hours of rest by the employers, which implies that no they can not even keep their appointments medical, participate in associations or have leisure time.
Break with the racist and sexist imagery
The participants urge to break with the racist and sexist imagery that has in society with respect to migrant women. "There are stereotypes of the type: If Latin America is spirited, if Latin America is loving, if it is African also is hipersexualizada." Also with regard to employment. Example: you have access to a job if you're Latin American, Yes, because you pay services, you are out and those stereotypes that continue to perpetuate. Then here of speeches there is a problem on which we can also act and influence. Although racism is also a structural problem"denounces other testimonies.
In this sense, the report migrant women denounce that it is the Aliens Act which exposes them to violations of rights and violence, since the irregular administrative situation involves continuing situations of vulnerability and exclusion and constitutes a mechanism of institutional racism. This also leads them to a situation of continuous distress, to them and their families, for the fear of being stopped by the police to ask for documentation, be detained in the Centre of detention of foreigners (ICD) or be deported to their country of origin.
On the other hand, the document includes a list of proposals for action carried out by the same participants in the process to improve the situation of migrant women in the region of Valencia. Some of these measures at the regional level are: monitor and monitor health care to ensure universal healthcare in the Valencian Community, raise awareness and educate staff and the civil service about the reality of migrant women, boost migrant associative tissue or an incidence programme directed to the Ministry of the interior for the closure of the center of detention of foreigners of sappers.
We talk about female migrants, but there is a paradigmatic subject that can include under this restrictive label. We cannot say the woman migrant has this age and origin determined, this marital status or profession specific, etc. Since the characteristics of migrant women are as many as women there are. However, there are shared realities that make them in a differentiated social group and we have tried to collect in this report: mainly an immigration law that hinders or impedes access to health, social services, education to decent work, family reunification, justice, social protection and/or political participation and that, Furthermore, by itself this outside little, criminalizes them social level.
To all these violences are added the gender mandates reserved specifically for migrants in the workplace: as responsible for the work of care, generating the paradox of care chains, where indigenous women can "free themselves of these burdens" and aspire to other jobs outside the domestic sphere. In this way, Spanish society imposes on migrant women the most precarious and historically worst-valued employment niche, displacing and invisibly displacing them.
In this document, we also aim to show what precisely this structural violence towards migrant women is that highlighting its role as a political subjects capable of, despite all the difficulties mentioned above, sustaining their families and entire, even transnational, communities from a more or less formal self-organization, as well as implementing forms of participation and resistance ranging from the personal to the collective.
In this sense, the report offers a look at the violence that they go through migrant women in the Valencicountry country in all areas of their lives, but also about the resistance they have developed in this regard and their ability to make decisions in contexts especially precarious and as survivors of different forms of abuse and exploitation. In this way, based on the testimonies of dozens of these women and the people who work together each day to improve their situation, we have analyzed the causes and consequences of these rights violations, as well as the mechanisms of overcoming personal and collective of this reality.
It therefore serves this document to pay homage and to make awareness of the daily struggle of being a woman and a migrant in the Walloon Country and also to contribute to pointing out the power structures that divide society between citizens and citizens, subjects of full rights and subjects whose rights are not recognized, through laws, formalities and requirements of all kinds.
This report is part of the project "Working on the local development agenda: knowledge sharing and networking around the SDGs" financiado por la Generalitat Valenciana en la convocatoria de subvenciones de Educación para la ciudadanía Global de 2016 y ha sido realizado por la ONG Alianza por la Solidaridad en colaboración con el estudio de sociología La Dula a partir de un proceso de diagnóstico participativo que ha tenido lugar entre los meses de junio de 2017 y marzo de 2018.
En él han participado decenas de mujeres y asociaciones que han ofrecido su testimonio y conocimientos sobre cuál es la situación de acceso a derechos por parte de las mujeres migrantes en el País Valencià y el ejercicio de su condición de sujetos políticos, además de elaborar propuestas de acción concretas para mejorar las deficiencias existentes.
Esta publicación ha sido realizada con el apoyo financiero de la Generalitat Valenciana. El contenido de dicha publicación es responsabilidad exclusiva de Alianza por la Solidaridad y no refleja necesariamente la opinión de la Generalitat Valenciana.
Desde Alianza por la Solidaridad, nos gustaría agradecer la colaboración de todas las personas que han participado en la elaboración de este informe: ya sea por compartir sus experiencias y conocimientos durante el trabajo de campo, como por su orientación y apoyo durante todo el proceso de diagnóstico participativo y redacción del informe.