“Gender mainstreaming crucial in asylum & integration procedures,” says Anna Zobnina at #Coppieters17 dinner debate
On Friday 31st of March, Centre Maurits Coppieters organized a dinner debate with Anna Zobnina, chair of the European Network of Migrant Women as the keynote speaker. The aim of the debate was to outline specific challenges and risks for refugee women in their countries of origin, in transit and upon arrival since women experience migration and gender-based discrimination differently.
Ms Zobnina delivered a powerful speech in favor of gender mainstreaming in emergencies, asylum and integration procedures. She addressed the current EU and international legal frameworks, such as the CEDAW, the Istanbul Convention, as well as the EU Directive against Trafficking. She called upon the EU to ratify the Istanbul Convention, and in doing so, apply stipulated rights to all women regardless of legal status. According to Ms Zobnina, challenges that remain include: budgetary provisions, gender-sensitive training of personnel and journalists, and monitoring of implementation of existing laws.
Ms Zobnina also stressed the importance of working with women side-by-side, making them active contributors to their host societies. By investing in gender-sensitive integration policies and programs, entire communities can benefit from the empowerment of women through the multiplier effect.
According to Anna Zobnina, gender-based violence remains a key challenge for refugee women and girls who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation throughout their journey, including in refugee camps which lack adequate facilities, basic healthcare and trained support.