On Monday 25th August the ACTION Support Centre together with the South African Somali Women’s Network (SASOWNET) attended a meeting on refugee and migrant women in South Africa. This meeting was in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa and the City of Johannesburg. One of the guest speakers of the meeting included Honorable Deputy Minister of the Department of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan and the Executive Director of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Ms. Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane.
The meeting highlighted the daily struggles and challenges faced by refugee and migrant women in South Africa, such as their inability to get their children into the South African schooling system because of lack of residence documentation. The panel provided an opportunity for questions to be asked and the Department of Home Affairs had officials who could provide assistance in answering personal questions members of the audience may have had regarding their cases or even seeking advice on their residence status. The meeting definitely provided some insights and learning as well as emphasized the importance of civil society and government working together to ensure that all migrant and refugee women have their voices heard and receive any form of assistance they require.