Claire Choulavong is the Women Development Worker for the Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network based at NICEM.
In her guest blog, Claire provides us with some information about the BME Women’s Network and the services and support it provides:-
The aim of the Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network is to promote gender and racial equality for ethnic minority women in Northern Ireland.
When the UK government was being examined by the Committee for the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in July 2013, NICEM ran its own research alongside. This research consisted of a 67 page long questionnaire, translated into 8 different languages, along with community-based seminars and workshops held with ethnic minority women in Northern Ireland.
With the findings of this research, along with NICEM’s broader policy, research development and advocacy work, NICEM produced a shadow report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
After our report was published, five women representing the black and minority ethnic community, along with staff from NICEM, went to Geneva and presented the findings at a hearing in Geneva in July 2013.
When our report was published, there was a huge amount of momentum within the black and minority ethnic communities and so was born the Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network!
The BME Women’s Network reaches out to women across Northern Ireland, asking them to get involved in the process of change. The Network has met with several women’s groups across the country, holding information sessions and talking to BME women about their rights.
In these internationally troubling times, organisations and groups such as the BME Women’s Network provide valuable support, information and importantly a voice to women from black and ethnic minority communities who are experiencing difficulties with life here in Northern Ireland.
The Network is an incredible opportunity for women in Northern Ireland to tell the world about their lives, what matters to them, and what their government should be doing about it.
If you would like to become involved with the BME Women’s Network, please contact Claire Choulavong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also out the BME Women’s Network Facebook page www.facebook.com/BMEWN