WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAM
Battered Immigrant, Refugee, and Undocumented Women and Children’s Project
(Joint Project of the Women's Program & the Refugee & Immigrant Program)
With the increase in immigrant populations in Minnesota, the number of battered women from these communities is rising. Many women stay in abusive relationships because of a mistaken belief that they will forfeit their right to become citizens or permanent residents if they leave their abusers. In addition, there is much misinformation, confusion and fear within immigrant communities about recent legislative changes that affect immigrants.
This project provides immigrant, refugee and undocumented battered women and children in Minnesota with necessary information regarding immigration law, family law, social services and other assistance available to them. In addition, the project includes training initiatives for service organizations in Minnesota to provide accurate information about immigration issues and cultural sensitivity training so that they may better serve immigrant, refugee and undocumented battered women and children.
This project includes training seminars for social service providers and community groups reaching immigrant women, a telephone information line, individual consultations on rights and services available in the community, and assignment of cases to attorneys and other volunteers. Volunteer advocates will be needed. Watch for training opportunities.
International Women’s Day Celebration, Minnesota – March 4, 2000
The Women’s Program organizes an annual celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). The purpose of this event is to recognize International Women’s Day with a celebration of the diversity of Minnesota women and an educational program that increases understanding and tolerance of the different backgrounds of women living in our community. In addition, the IWD celebration promotes recognition and awareness of the international women’s human rights standards and works to involve volunteers in educational programs regarding these rights. This past year (March 6, 1999) drew over seven hundred women and offered twenty-five workshops, including: Spirituality and Human Rights, Women’s Economic and Political Progress, Women and Girls in Sports, Sexual Orientation and Hate Crimes, Women and Disabilities, and Census 2000: Why be counted. This event provides a forum for women from all over Minnesota to exchange ideas and information on issues that directly affect their lives. Most importantly, International Women’s Day in Minnesota creates a strong community of women who are dedicated to empowering the lives of women and girls in Minnesota and throughout the world.
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