- 28 Sep 21
Established in Dublin in 2001, AkiDwA has been representing migrant women in Ireland for almost two decades by providing policymakers with the unique perspective of a migrant-led national women’s organisation.
AkiDwA is urging the Irish state to address systemic discrimination to enhance integration at today's press conference - organised as part of AkiDwA’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The organisation has highlighted the significant change which has occurred in the last 20 years of their existence. AkiDwA, short for Akina Dada Wa Africa (Swahili for 'sisterhood'), is Ireland’s national network for migrant women. One of the group's primary aims is to address the longstanding issue of stigmatisation.
The ‘Lifting the Stigma Against Migrant Women’ conference, which takes place today in Dublin’s notable EPIC museum, is organised under Forum — a European Union (EU) partnership project between seven EU countries which was established with the goal of engaging citizens to fight the stigmas against migrants, encouraging civic partnership, and promoting tolerance and understanding.
The conference will bring together key stakeholders to tackle stigmatisation, inclusivity, migrants’ rights and integration amongst a variety of other issues pertaining to migrants.
Particular objectives of the conference include developing a better understanding of the various stigmas associated with migrants and how EU citizens and governments can work together to mitigate these stigmas in order to create more inclusive and integrated communities for migrants. Ideas to help inform the European Agenda for the integration of migrants will also be discussed.
Speaking at the conference Dr. Salome Mbugua, CEO of AkiDwA outlined many programmes and activities the organisation has undertaken over the years. She noted there is still much to be done to ensure equality of treatment and opportunities for migrant women:
“Despite migrant women’s resilience, we are still far from achieving equality; racism and discrimination continue to affect migrants. Access to employment, services and support are hindered by employer bias and lack of cultural competence."
The conference will engage an array of diverse participants, including representatives from government departments and agencies, academics, and experts working on equality and diversity of both indigenous and migrant backgrounds.
Amongst the ten guest speakers are; Labour TD Ivana Bacik, Mayor Uruemu Adejinmi of Longford County Council and Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
The first panel discussion, titled ‘20 Years of Activism’, will see representatives from Cáirde, Dignity Partnership, Paypal, and Maynooth University discuss the current issues facing migrant women. The second panel, ‘Shaping the Future’, will see a number of government representatives explore the policy implementations and community engagements necessary to secure a more inclusive and integrated future.
On the day certificates will also be awarded to the migrant women who successfully completed the Door to Work programme — AkiDwA’s employment initiative run in partnership with PayPal.
The conference will be livestreamed to a wider audience via Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Attendees can register for the Zoom event for free via AkiDwA’s Eventbrite here.
As part of lifting stimatization aganist migrant- state has to eliminate systemic discrimination-see our press release in advance AkiDwA conference to mark 20 years tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/5FpO7wZHW3
— AkiDwA (@AkiDwA) September 27, 2021
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