A movement of migrant and racialized women, a vibrant movement

Article written by Calala Fondo de Mujeres.

The movement of migrant and racialized women is one of the most vibrant movements in Spain. In it we find very diverse women who self-organize to defend their rights.

Within this group not only do we speak of domestic workers and caregivers but also of young people who use art as a form of protest. We refer to groups that generate analyzes from a decolonial perspective and of women who share the experience of sexist violence. We also speak of sex workers, of activists who demonstrate for the closure of the CIE; and of feminists who create resistance boxes to support those who are experiencing the worst in this pandemic, and much more.

A more active movement than ever

At Calala Fondo de Mujeres we believe that the existence of strong movements of women and brave feminists are the main factor in ending inequality and structural discrimination in our societies. For this reason, we support this movement through the delivery of financial donations, the organization of training and exchange spaces and the generation of meeting spaces.

At a time when this movement is more active than ever, we wanted to take a holistic photograph that would allow us to learn more about it and give us clues on how to better contribute to its strengthening. For this, we have counted on the decolonial feminist activist Adriana Zumarán Jibaja, who has led a research process that has led to the publication Acercamiento al movimiento de mujeres migrantes en el estado español, in which almost 50 organizations and networks have participated.

Does the movement have an agenda of its own?

The first conclusion that we have drawn from the report is that the ways of understanding and feeling present their own migratory processes and the experience of racialization are very diverse. As well as the agenda, the way of organizing and acting are dynamic and even divergent in some cases, so we can not speak of a homogeneous movement.

The members of the movement consider that having a collectively shared political agenda is a priority according to three main issues:

  1. The repeal of the regulations on foreigners, the closure of the Foreigners Internment Centers (CIE), the untying of the employment contract from the residence permit and the end of racist raids.
  2. The end of discrimination and structural violence by institutions and administrations based on skin color and class, as well as the rights of domestic and care workers. Ratification of ILO Convention 189 and inclusion of domestic workers in the general regime of workers.
  3. To achieve representation quotas for migrant and racialized women in political participation, as well as make visible the over-representation of migrant and racialized women in the indicators of different types of gender-based violence and demand specific measures to address it. 

Strengths and challenges

Now we will share the strengths and challenges of the movement of migrant and racialized women extracted from the report Acercamiento al movimiento de mujeres migrantes en el estado español,

  • The movement has an increasingly broad and sustained base. There is a rich articulation of collectives, organizations and networks constituted and led by migrant and racialized women.
  • Moreover, there is a broad set of strategies implemented by organizations to achieve their goals and promote their agenda, as well as multiple levels of intervention.
  • Most of the actions that have been carried out are based on self-management and specific economic support. Material precariousness is a transversal characteristic.
  • The challenge of generating a more shared vision and agenda persists, since different views and feelings coexist that at any given moment may be divergent.
  • It is compulsory to generate data and evidence that contribute to strategic decision-making, for example, through the systematization of experiences.
  • It would be advisable to carry out processes that allow establishing criteria to determine whether a person or an organization is an ally from the perspective of migrant and racialized women. Also what is desirable when establishing strategic alliances.
  • It would be interesting to generate knowledge-sharing spaces on how power relations are managed and how horizontal and synergistic leaderships that are considered desirable are being encouraged.
  • It would be convenient to favor a greater number of hubs to deepen the knowledge, coordination and mutual support between the different organizations and networks.
  • Self-care, collective care and mutual support are a prioritized strategy by the organizations and networks of the movement.

This process of analysis has been a source of great learning in Calala, since all these elements help us to better guide our work. We hope that it has also been a useful exercise for the members of the movement itself, to whom we thank for their generosity in sharing their visions and contributions and who, of course, should lead the changes they want to achieve.

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