140,000 Asian women live in Spain, Asian immigrant women who have lived through the emigration process vulnerabilities: Muslim feminists seeking equality without renouncing to their faith, Asian women defending their access to productive economy and Asian women caregives in Europe who are the breadwinners of the family, with the consequent social stigma in their local societies. Never has women's agenda been so global.
Because of these circumstances, the Second Meeting of Asian and Spanish Women, organized by the Asian and Spanish Women's Network, held on 7 November at Casa Asia, approached the diversity of Asia, a key continent shaping the world of the XXI century, and the impetus of its women. The Meeting addressed the challenges of equality in Asia from various perspectives: the challenges of entering the labour market, the struggle against gender violence, creating policies against inequality and social exclusion, the demand for women's public presence, and others.
"There is not a more powerful weapon to change the world than the voice of women," the former vice president of the Government of Spain, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, said at the closing ceremony of the Meeting. "Discrimination does not begin in adulthood, it begins before birth and during childhood," said Indu Capoor of India, founder and director of the Centre for Education and Training in Health and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA), referring to the systematic relegation of girls' health.
"Women are the victims of poverty and yet they are managing to figure out how to get out of it" said Milagros Pérez Oliva, reader’s advocate for El País. These are some ideas that emerged from the Second Meeting of Asian and Spanish Women to encourage progress of social equality.
Conclusions of the 2nd Meeting of Asian and Spanish Women
The presentation of the Casa Asia Award 2011 rounded off the 2nd Meeting of Asian and Spanish Women brought together more than 30 men and women of the political and social field around six roundtables under the general title of «Globalisation and Local Realities». The State Secretary of Immigration and Emigration, Anna Terrón, opened the meeting and highlighted the role of Asian women in Spanish immigration in the last years and especially for their work capacity and ability to start up business.
The conference was closed with a reading of conclusions and four key ideas were shared:
1. Care is a good of general interest. The virtuous circle must be promoted and favoured: good carers, good care and good society.
2. It is necessary to rethink the social model, in a collective and participative manner on a local and global level.
3. Women must be identified as agents of social change as the case of the role Muslim women play.
4. Importance of the application of the international, national and local legislation in gender violence, sexual exploitation traffic, emigration, labour and citizens' rights, etc.
These are the conclusions of a meeting that aims to debate on the effects of globalisation, on local realities from the point of view of the situation and the aspirations of women from different Asian societies. This 2nd Meeting of Asian and Spanish Women was possible thanks to the starting up of a Network of Asian and Spanish Women last year in Barcelona, in collaboration with UN Women, the entity for gender equality in the United Nations. Since then, the meeting is established as a space for debate and exchange of ideas and proposals with the purpose to promote a better understanding of the challenges and problems Asian and Spanish women face in the construction of the future of their societies.