I don’t want to talk only about asylum and migration. Racialised women are not just migrants or asylum seekers. Let’s talk about the multi-dimensional struggle for women’s rights. Let’s talk about Nordic feminist movement’s openness to diversity.arenapeorgram

Invited to talk on the topics asylum and migration for the second time on the Nordic Forum, the MiRA Centre Director Fakhra Salimi chose to challenge the Nordic feminist movement and the Nordic Forum. Not because she doesn’t assign to the struggle against violence against asylum seekers, undocumented migrant women or victims of trafficking – as were the important topics of the speeches before her. She repeatedly does.

Let me raise other important questions!

But this time she wanted to raise other issues. She didn’t want to just accept the premises defined by the organisers of the Nordic Forum. She wanted to challenge the core values of Nordic feminist movement, a movement that until now has not seen racialised women as part of mainstream feminism. That must change. Racialised women don’t want to be represented by experts, they want to speak for themself and they want to discuss all dimension of their feminist struggle, not only topics such as asylum and migration.

Ms. Salimi elaborates:

– The Nordic region has become diverse with a diversity of ethnic groups, languages, religions, traditions and ways of living. This has changed the characteristics of the feminist struggle; the equality policies of the 21st century therefore must be multi-dimensional.

Affirmative action

Many Nordic feminists see multi-dimensionality as a threat to gender equality, as they believe it causes a shift away from the oppression of women. But the patriarchal power structures are built upon multi-dimensional oppression. Class and racism, alongside gender, exclude and place minority women at the bottom of the hierarchy in society.

Policies of affirmative action on gender have brought ethnic Nordic women to influential and powerful positions in society. But these policies have not reduced the discrimination against racialised women. We have to take steps to create an open, diverse and inclusive feminist movement, struggling for all women’s rights – also those of racialised women, asylum seekers, undocumented migrant women and women who are victims of trafficking.

Want to influence decision-making

Racialised women must be represented on all levels in society, including in all decision-making bodies. Not the least in the decision-making bodies of the Nordic Forum.