Speak Up!

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What is Speak Up! ?


Speak Up!...
... is a European wide project of Community Radio Stations.
... is a campaign to highlight the issue of violence against migrant, refugee and ethnic minority women in the media.
... is an attempt to sensitise and NOT sensationalise the manner in which violence is portrayed in the media.
... intends to provide Community Radio Stations and programme producers with the tools and guidelines they require in dealing with this sensitive issue.
... is a project which aims to encourage minority women to Speak Up! and voice their opinions and views through the medium of Community Radio.
... encourages you to Speak Up! and make your voice be heard. Get involved by contacting!

What is Violence?


  • Violence against women is a violation of women’s human rights and occurs across all political, economic, cultural and social divides.
  • It causes physical and psychological damage to women and children.
  • It is a grave social problem that threatens the safety, equality and bodily integrity of every woman.

Special Aspects of Domestic Violence Against Migrant Women:

Different factors make migrant women more exposed to danger than female nationals of the country in which they are living:

  • linguistic and cultural barriers can contibute to the isolation of the family and also make it more difficult for women to seek the help of the police.
  • in cases where the legal residence status of the migrant woman derives from her husband, this increases her dependance on him, thus making it more difficult for her to achieve independence.
  • Some cultures emphasise the partriarchal structure of the family more strongly than is the case in the Member States of the European Union so that this, too, makes it more difficult for the affected woman to defend herself against a violent member of the family.
  • Women from Muslim states, in particular, have no possibility of returning to their home countries because, as women who have left their husbands, they cannot count on any understanding; rather, they will be rejected by their family as having disgraced them.

Violence against women is universal but what makes it more difficult for migrant women?


  • Migrant Women are not only suffering with domestic Violence, they also have to cope with structural, institutional, social and verbal violence.
  • It is often the case that the legislators act as acomplice to the abusers crime.
  • The helplessness, dispair and fear for survival of these women is oftened viewed and treated with little compansion and in a clincial manner, from a male point of view.

Conditions which lead to the isolation and dispair of migrant women:


  • The social and economic dependancy of these women is inforced by legislation.
  • Lack of understanding and translation of legislation.
  • Inadequate living and working conditions.
  • Lack of acceptance, with little opportunity to integrate into society at large.
  • Women are dutybound as chief child carers.

The women's lack of protection strengthens the power of her abuser!

Examples of structural and social violence in european countries:


  • Their Lives are controled by opposing power structures e.g North/South, Black/White, Rich/Poor, Men/Women.......
  • In Austria migrant women can in the majority of cases enter the country alone if they in tend to become students, prostitutes or marry an EU citizen.
  • The issue of divorce: In the Rep of Ireland migrant women do not have access to the legal process in order to attain such a right.
  • In Germany and other european countries mutilation of migrant women is still widely practised.
  • Many migrant women are economically dependant and morally committed to their husbands and families, which makes it difficult for them and makes them reluctant to leave a violent situation.
  • We all take part in verbal violence through our ignorance, prejudice, generalisations and overall lack of information and awareness of the problems that are rife in our society.

Globalisation inforces a patriarchal and capitalist society where migrant women are seen as a low budget, cheap labour force and hence are resigned to low status, low paid and demeaning jobs, e.g. cleaning, prostitution, factory workers etc...

Finally violence can be very silent, and is not only evident from trademark bruises!

As a result of these denials of migrant women's Human Rights several proposals were put forward at The Beijing Conference (1995) Below are a number of there key demands which are of key concern to migrant women:

Supported by the wisdom of our elders, inspired by indigenous peoples, energized by youth, and sustained by our sisterhood, we call for an end to these conditions and refuse to accept them as inevitable for the future of humanity. WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.

We call on all governments:

  • To recognize and ensure women's equal rights to a decent standard of living, health, clean water and air, adequate food, clothing, and sanitation, safe and accessible housing, adequate social security and social insurance, education and legal aid as agreed in the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • To encourage, not hinder, the free expression, full participation and full access for women with disabilities in non-governmental and governmental organisations locally, nationally and internationally.
  • To recognise and implement initiatives taken by poor and grassroots women, including them, as full participants in the planning and distribution of resources.
  • Not to misinterpret or impose religious beliefs or traditional practices on women in ways that deny their inalienable human rights. We also call for an end to all laws and customary practices which deny girls and women their equal rights, and deny their equal access to succession and inheritance.
  • To amend their intellectual property laws so as to make indigenous women the primary beneficiaries of the commercial use of their knowledge.
  • We demand that our governments work together to solve conflicts without using violence, and that they fully include women in peacemaking and conflict resolution initiatives.
  • To implement their commitments to measure and value women's unwaged work and to include it in the accounting of each nation's GDP.
  • All development projects must take into account their effects on women, including the additional workload imposed on women by unsustainable and inappropriate technology.
  • NGO women of the world call upon all peoples and all governments to radically reconsider and transform concepts, assumptions and structures governing social and economic life, and to take action on our recommendations. This process will require the full and equal participation of women of all races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, classes, languages, girls, young women, older women, indigenous women, grassroots women, rural women, urban women, women with disabilities, immigrant women, migrant women, refugee women, internally and other displaced women, women of different sexual orientation, and all other marginalized women.

We call for:

  • access for women to political structures at all levels, and equal political empowerment at all decision-making levels. Accountable, transparent and participatory national and international institutions must be created.
  • Women must have free access to diversified and pluralistic information sources and media which are culturally and linguistically appropriate for receiving and communicating information. Governments must support NGOs and ensure their full participation in planning and implementing all programs and policies.
  • Recognition, protection, compensation, financial and other assistance and full legal status for the millions of women and children, and the victims of nuclear and other environmental catastrophes, many of them widows or orphans, who have been forced to become immigrants, migrants, refugees, internally and other displaced persons or forced into sexual slavery as a result of war, foreign occupation and political and socio-economic injustices. Every effort should be made to protect civilian populations from the adverse effects of economic sanctions, which impair their economic human rights.
  • Development and sustained use of affirmative action by both the private and public sectors of society to ensure the equality of women.
  • All the media to change the present negative, exploitative and sexualized images of women and children to positive ones respecting us in all our dignity and diversity.



Be not longer still, Speak Up!

How can I participate in Speak Up!?


  • Speak Up! and Community Radios stations all over Europe invite you to Speak Up! and get involved in our radio campaign from November 4th - 10th 2002.
  • You can get involved in making radio programmes surrounding the issue of violence against minority women, by doing interviews, features, production work or any other way you can think of getting migrant women involved in Community radio and help them express their views in any way.
  • Making contacts with various migrant women, support organisations, Community radios and other local media.
  • Musicians, artists, journalists, people of all professions and interests we invite you to SPEAK UP! and get involved in what ever way you can.
  • There is an opportunity for all your efforts be broadcasted not only locally but on a European level in Community radio stations all over Europe.
  • All support in what ever form will be gratefully received!
  • All submissions should be made by October 20th.
  • So contact one of the Community Radio Stations listed below NOW!

Guidelines, how to deal with violence against women in the media:


  • no sensational, but sensitive way of reporting
  • silent violence - silent help
  • biographical style of feature
  • mediator (person of trust) at the interview with migrant women
  • no emotionalising texts or music, women shall bring their own music
  • don't push the interview
  • leave your problems at home (beware projection!)
  • stay neutral: feel with them, don't suffer with them (who knows, what's good or bad?)
  • let the women talk, don't interrupt them, allow pauses
  • don't generalise ("all migrant women are poor women")
  • work with positive examples

Our main aim is to inform and encourage migrant women to stand up for their rights and to watch out for every kind of help, they can get.

Benefits of Community Radio


  • Non Govermental Organisations.
  • Public access (available for all to express their views).
  • Serve the needs of minority groups in the community.
  • Important alternative to Mass Media (general concensus, political influences, free of capitalist ideology).
  • Form of empowerment for minority groups.
  • Medium for integration of minority groups.
  • Freedom of expresion (not bound by strong censorship laws).
  • Free from Commericalisation(no advertising), no given agenda.
  • Authentic realistic reporting, which is true to its subject (not sensation or entertainment based).
  • A medium to influence society and inforce real change.
  • Highlights awareness of and respect for all members of society.
  • Operates in the sphere of realism and true nature of human beings and not in the accepted perceptions of society.

How can I contact Speak Up! ?

Any ideas or suggestions or any other contact can be made through the following addresses;

Radio Robin Hood
Itäinen Rantakatu 64
20810 TURKU
Tel: +358 2 2773 666
Fax: + 358 2 2500 905

Wired Fm,
Mary Immaculate Collage,
South Circular Road,
Limerick, Rep of Ireland.
Tel: +353 61 315773
Fax: +353 61 325776

Radio Orange 94.0
Schubertgasse 10
1090 Wien, Austria
Tel: +43 1 309 09 99-7

Radio Helsinki
Schörgelgasse 27
8010 Graz, Austria
Tel.: +43 316 830880-85
Fax: +43 316 830880-84

Freies Radio Wueste Welle
Hechinger Strasse 203
D-72072 Tuebingen
Tel.: +49(0)7071-760337

amarc europe

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