In addition to love and affection, we deserve and demand recognition, respect and protection.
On the commemoration of the 2017 International Women’s Day, we in the Action Network of Marriage Migrants for Rights and Empowerment (AMMORE) assert our space in society as part of the sector who continue to struggle against sexual discrimination, oppression and racism.
As partners to our local spouses and mothers to our children, we also struggle to eke out a living. Such aspirations are made difficult to achieve by the oppressive and limiting citizenship policies of our host governments. With dependent visas in some countries, we are prohibited from working making us truly dependent on our husbands, who too experience the brunt of the crisis.
Even as we have become citizens in some countries, our access to livelihood, services and other means continue to be limited. We continue to suffer racial and sexual discrimination yet policies sadly do not side with us.
Furthermore, we experience neglect from our own home country governments. Not only have they refused to acknowledge the root causes of our forced migration, they continually ignore our welfare plea leaving us basically to fend for ourselves. Sadly, because of discriminatory and marriage migrant-unfriendly policies from both host and home governments, some of us become stateless in the process.
Hence, the violence we experience is not just domestic but also societal and state-instigated. Thus, we struggle.
The formation and formalization of AMMORE as an alliance of marriage migrant organizations and our advocates is a step towards building that space and raising our collective voice for recognition, respect and protection.
Through this alliance, we project the reality that we are no different from every woman in our society. Migrant or local, we women experience in varying levels and degrees discrimination, exploitation and hostilities brought about and aggravated by neoliberalism. Neither are our husbands spared from this brutality.
It is then with great importance we perceive the goals of the Agenda 2030 and our active participation in their achievement. We too are stakeholders who deserve to be consulted, included and enjoined in developing mechanisms, programs and ways to monitor, evaluate and ensure that these goals are reached.
We are not outsiders. We are part of society.
Thus, we struggle and build solidarity.
We marriage migrants enjoy the love and affection of our families. But beyond this love, we deserve and assert that space for recognition that we are part of a society whose voice deserves to be heard, whose contributions need to be recognized and permitted, whose person and dignity deserve the same protection as everyone else’s.
As we express solidarity with our sisters this International Women’s Day, we will continue to struggle for a society without discrimination, inequality or injustice. #