If you vote, you have a say

Text and photos by Fatima Zahra El Harch

European citizens will have the opportunity to decide what will happen in European politics during the European elections to be held from 6 to 9 June 2024. 

It is a time when we can all work together to make decisions about the future of the European Union. Your vote is important, whether it is for things that happen in your neighborhood, in your country or across Europe. It is an opportunity to have your say on the issues that matter to you.

In Italy, the election date is 9 June 2024. It is easy to forget how many people are affected by the outcome of the European elections. The European Parliament passes laws that affect everyone, including migrant women. Although, the voices of migrant women are clearly absent from policy-making and debate. Women from a migrant background living in Europe are rarely consulted on issues that affect them. As a result, many details are overlooked and opportunities to tailor services and access to meet their real needs remain limited.

Their stories do not find space in the media, which tend to focus on migrant women only when they are portrayed as heroines or victims of social injustice. This narrow narrative fails to capture the full complexity of their (our) experiences and perspectives. 

Despite being largely absent from mainstream media and political discourse, migrant women are incredibly active on both social and professional fronts. They engage in various social battles and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Europe. In the public narrative, migrant women are often depicted solely through the lens of adversity, as individuals overcoming insurmountable challenges. While this aspect of their experience is undeniably important, it only scratches the surface of their multifaceted contributions. 

Migrant women are pivotal agents of change within their communities. They are at the forefront of social movements, advocating for human rights, gender equality, and racial justice. Their activism spans a wide range of issues, from migrant rights and labor rights to environmental sustainability and education access. Moreover, migrant women are integral to the European workforce, driving innovation and economic growth across various sectors. It’s imperative to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of migrant women to the socio-economic landscape of Europe. By acknowledging their agency, resilience, and transformative potential, we can create more inclusive and equitable societies that benefit everyone.

We should vote in the European elections to advocate for policies that address migrant rights and gender equality, support political leaders who prioritize their interests, and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. By exercising their right to vote, we can contribute to building a more inclusive and equitable Europe that values the contributions of all citizens.

When you vote, you choose the Members of the European Parliament, who will work on behalf of migrant women on issues like human rights, gender equality, labor rights and racial justice.

These Members make decisions that affect your daily life.

Your vote matters.

If you vote, you have a say.