#HearMeToo: celebrating migrant women’s work to prevent violence

This year marks the sixth incarnation of the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, and the theme for 2018 is #HearMeToo. The focus of the campaign is to bring to the forefront the voices of women and girls who have survived violence, who are defending women’s rights every day, and who are taking action—many of them very far away from the limelight or media headlines.

One thing that we notice every year is just how many women’s and community groups are already working to end gender-based violence. Whether they are raising awareness, raising money for shelters, or raising their voices in protest, people around Australia and around the world are taking action each and every day to prevent violence against women. Migrant women and their communities are also working tirelessly to prevent violence. But most of them are not making the headlines. Most of them are not celebrated or even seen doing the amazing work they do.

That’s why we are excited that we have formed the new EQUAL Network, to connect Victorian migrant women’s organisations and groups to share their experience and expertise. Last Monday we hosted the second EQUAL Network meeting with representatives from African Family Services, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association, Doncaster Women’s Friendship Group, InTouch and Gabriela.

As well as sharing expertise and the great work achieved by and for migrant women, we hope that the network will amplify migrant women’s voices and showcase the leadership we take in our lives, communities, workplaces and families every day.

For this 16 Days, we will be highlighting these organisations as well as sharing some of nearly 500 statements and comments we have received from migrant women through our training and health education programs this year.

The statements express migrant women’s dreams, opinions and priorities, and they are written on leaves to remind us to “Leave No Woman Behind”. We hope you will hear them and share them. In doing so, you help us bring to light migrant women’s voices and efforts to end gender-based violence.

To read more about our EQUAL network meeting click here