GADIP workshop ‘Women’s Voices: Civil society and migrant women’s rights’, 29 May, Gothenburg, Sweden

WIDE+ Swedish member GADIP,  Gender And Development In Practice, is organising the workshop: ‘Women’s Voices: Civil society and migrant women’s rights’ held at 29 May in Gothenburg together with WIDE+ member Fisofa and partners.

This workshop will examine successful and innovative examples of the work women’s rights associations do, in particular women migrant and refugee groups and organizations. These examples will form the basis to reflect on how society’s political institutions can cooperate better with women’s rights associations to improve the protection of the rights of female migrants. Swedish integration policy has for a long time paid little attention to the challenges of migrant women in society. The result is that the double discriminations faced by women who migrated – as refugees, relatives of their family, workers, etc.- is not adequately addressed in policy.

This workshop highlights good initiatives in women’s organizations in Sweden and compares them with initiatives of other countries in Europe. There is a great need to exchange experiences both nationally and between countries. The initiatives chosen come from three thematic areas: violence, labour market and economic & civil rights.

The workshop is part of the 2018 international project: “Strengthening Innovative Solutions to Protect Female Migrant and Refugee Rights“, coordinated by WIDE+ with national workshops to follow in Serbia, Spain and Denmark in the Autumn of this year and different European activities.

This project is made possible and supported in part by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations and national partners in Sweden.

The workshop will also bring together WIDE+ members from all over Europe as a meeting is planned parallel to the workshop in the context of the two year project ‘promoting gender equality, migration, security and democracy through adult education’ with project partners WIDE Austria (project leader), CEIM (Spain), Le Monde selon les Femmes (Belgium),  GADIP (Sweden) and Karat Coalition (Poland). This project is financially made possible through the EU programme Erasmus+.


  • Sahar Armandi, Elnaz Zara, Djana Filipovic, Terrafem, Göteborg, Sweden: ‘Supporting migrant women in Sweden –experiences, problem and visions’.
  • Jelena Hrnjak Attina, Belgrad, Serbia: ‘Violence against women and girls among refugee and migrant population in Serbia’.
  • Kinga Lohmann and Agata Maksimowska, Karat Coalition, Warsaw, Poland: ‘Assimilation or integration? Migrant and refugee women perspective on state policy’.
    Janviere Ntamazeze, Fisofa, Göteborg, Sweden: ‘How migrant women can obtain economic empowerment’.
  • Annika Lindström, Gothenburg Rights Center Against Discrimination, Göteborg, Sweden: ‘Working against discrimination on individual and structural levels‘.
  • Marianne Lööf, Gothenburg Women’s Center, Göteborg, Sweden: ‘Female pluralism in work life‘.
  • Nancy Contreras, Systuga a place for creativity, Sweden: ‘Learning how to make dresses. Work training for women with a migrant background‘.

About the chosen initiatives: 

Terrafem is an organisation active in various cities in Sweden. They offer services for several languages to migrant during the day and in the evening, in addition to legal support. The leaders of the organisation will address their experiences of how such organization developed over time and what their visions are for the future.

Attina from Serbia will address the situation of refugee women in Serbia and of how the organisation work to promote their rights and create visibility to the political agencies in order to build support for those women that are in difficult situations.

Karat Coalition in Poland will explain the problematic consequences a state can create for migrant women through its integration policy. In Poland the state policy promotes either integration or assimilation.

Fisofa is an organisation that promotes economic literacy for migrant women through basic economic education and competence training. It will share its knowledge on how the courses given to female migrants, including refugees, can improve their living conditions.

The centre for social rights and against discrimination promotes human rights and works to actively prevent discrimination and exploitation on the grounds of ethnicity, race religion, gender and disabilities. They provide education and counselling free of charge. They will provide examples in how they work on female social entrepreneurship. The organisation has long experiences in supporting women to be empowered through working together.

A similar objective is found in the organisation working within ABF where learning and doing is combined. Examples are taken from in sewing and learning language at the same time. They help the migrants to adapt to the Swedish way of life and in creating new routines.

Some of these organisations are connected to ‘Kvinnokedjan, the chain of women’ that was initiated some years ago. It is a network of organisations which connect women working on various topics for women, especially immigrant women.

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