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Zero Tolerance and Scottish Refugee Council partner up to promote women’s voices on migration

Zero Tolerance, with the support of the Scottish Refugee Council is launching this years’ Write to End Violence Against Women Awards, with a new gender equality category: ‘Women and Migration’. This category is open to all those writing from personal experience of migration or for an article written on the topic of women and migration.

The run up to the EU referendum was dominated by the topic of migration and what it means for the UK. Unfortunately, much media coverage was characterised by divisive anti-immigration rhetoric, a rhetoric that has a particular impact on women. Racist attacks, which appear to have surged since the vote to leave the EU, are often targeted at Muslim women who (while often UK citizens) may be visibly identified as from a minority culture due to their dress. Because women are more likely to be in poverty than men, subtler forms of racism such as denial of job opportunities have a severe impact. And women fleeing men’s violence in their own country are often vulnerable to further abuse in the UK when lack of access to resources and insecure immigration status make them dependent on abusive men.

A spokesperson for Zero Tolerance said; “Violence against women is a global issue and the fact that violence against women fleeing their countries does not get more press attention shows how easily men’s violence is tolerated. The devastating murder of MP Jo Cox demonstrates what happens at the crossroads between anti-immigration and anti-women hate speech. The way this issue is framed by some media outlets actively encourages xenophobia and misunderstanding, and this needs to change. We want the media to devote more space to a clearer and more thoughtful picture on different types of migration and the challenges faced by migrant women, as well as the positive contributions migrant women make. Our ‘Women and Migration’ category will promote new voices and provide a perspective that has been lacking so far.”

Nina Murray, Women’s Policy Officer at Scottish Refugee Council:

“Scottish Refugee Council is delighted to partner with Zero Tolerance to launch the new ‘Women and Migration’ category in this year’s Write to End Violence Against Women awards. The new award is a timely reminder to us all of the courage, resilience, and contribution so many migrant women make to our communities in the face of increasing hostility and discrimination.

Many of the women we work with on a daily basis are seeking protection here in the UK from gender based persecution, and have survived violence not only at home and on their journeys but also here in the UK. We are pleased to support an initiative that provides an opportunity for women who are so often silenced to have a voice.”

‘Women and Migration’ is open to those writing from direct experience, or on the topic of, all types of migration. This could include, but is not limited to, forced migration and refugee resettlement, economic migration, internal and short term migration. Zero Tolerance is particularly encouraging submissions from black and minority ethnic women and anyone with personal experiences of migration.

The Write to End VAW awards are part of Zero Tolerance’s work to drive up journalism standards around violence against women and to increase awareness about how the media impacts our understanding of these issues. The awards celebrate good writing and responsible journalism around violence against women and gender equality. The public are invited to submit good (and bad) writing for consideration through the website. The winners will be announced in December at the Scottish Parliament.

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