The communication agency promotes the equality between men and women in Europe and the Mediterranean region
Solidarity Cities: The journey for refugee women
“My wife was pregnant and she lost the child in the border of Macedonia”, says Mohamed Yosiv, a Palestinian refugee who has just arrived to Jasmin School, an abandoned schoolhouse in Athens, Greece, accommodated to host refugees. In recent years, thousands of people have left their home countries running from armed conflicts. After overwhelming journeys across several countries to reach Europe, those who finally arrive to the Promised Land find themselves waiting for closed borders to open or stuck in refugee camps in wait for the regularization of their situation.
Both the long journeys and the stays in refugee camps are especially threatening for women and girls, who are “exposed to epidemic levels of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) throughout their displacement; they are more affected by violence than any other population of women in the world”, states the Women’s Refugee Commission. Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response director at Amnesty International, assures that “these women and their children have fled some of the world’s most dangerous areas and it is shameful that they are still at risk on European soil”.
This is only one of the reasons that make the relocation of refugees across Europe an impending need that European Governments must face. In September 2015 EU member states committed to relocate 160,000 refugees. However, by mid-November 2016, only 4.5% of them had been found a new home.
Asim Bukhari is one of these people waiting to be relocated. He has been living in the Greek refugee camp of Eleonas with his wife and two daughters (aged 6 and 8) for 11 months. After almost a year, they still don’t know when or where they will be able to relocate: “Every day it’s a difficult situation. Maybe in another country, our situation would be better; we could have our own business and our girls could go to school”, he explains.
Vision Communication has been working with the European network of cities Eurocities to promote its initiative Solidarity Cities, which advocates for a fair sharing of responsibilities across the EU and to include local authorities in the management of the refugee crisis. At the moment, the cities participating in the initiative are focusing on refugee integration, one of the main issues once the relocation has been granted. Both relocation and integration will be an essential step forward to ensure better conditions for women and girls all around Europe.
The Node: Inclusion through forestry
How to integrate newcomers into societies is also one of the main topics tackled by the new service-Hub The Node. The new initiative aims to provide innovative sustainable development solutions in the environmental, forestry, and social sectors.
This project has a specific impact on gender equality in the southern Mediterranean shore, as it provides training on forestry management and climate change to many women who are out of the labor market due to the traditional prevailing culture in the rural areas of these countries.
The ultimate goal is to promote social inclusion through activities related to forestry and the environmental sector, such as reforestation. Vision Communication is one of The Node’s founders and, as its Director Ramon Vila explains, “The innovative approach of the initiative is the fact that is putting together very different expertise solving problems from different fields, such as gender equality and social inclusion”.
Fighting long-term unemployment
In 2015, the UN included gender equality as one of the sustainable development goals to be reached by 2030. The gender gap is still a reality in Europe, where 70% of men have a job whereas 60% of their female counterparts do; and the rate reaches as much as 25 points of difference in countries like Malta.
After the major financial crisis that Europe has gone through during recent years long-term unemployment has increased all over the continent and women have been hit particularly hard. Tackling long-term unemployment is key as it does not only impact the financial situation of the affected person but also have their personal confidence and emotional state.
Vision Communication has been working with Eurocities in a campaign to understand the effects of long-term unemployment. As part of the project, the team supported a study visit in Madrid to show how employment plans can be brought to the level closest to citizens, neighbourhoods, and work in a very effective way.
Gender equality has always been one of the main topics of interest for Vision Communication and the company has developed its own independent projects to promote equality between men and women. The gender gap is still present and crosscutting in different places and fields. Vision Communication will keep working to achieve an equal world. We put communication at work for gender equality.
Original article: https://entreprises.euromedwomen.foundation/pg/actus/view/6338