From struggle to strength, stories of resilience and hope

Text and photos by Mina Sadat

The forthcoming European elections on June 9th, 2024, mark a pivotal moment for all residents of Sweden, a time to shape not just national policies but the future of the European Union at large. This election is particularly significant for the voices that are often unheard, such as those of migrant women whose experiences are vital to understanding the needs and aspirations within our communities.

Sanaz Javadi Farahzadi’s journey in Switzerland illuminates the tenacity required for migrants to integrate into a new culture. Despite her extensive expertise in international trade and law, Sanaz encounters the complexities of a job market rife with discrimination. Her relentless advocacy for a united network of women echoes the sentiments of many who seek to instigate positive change, demonstrating the urgent need for policies that facilitate fair employment opportunities and combat systemic biases.

Echoing Sanaz’s experiences, Sozdar Ahmed in Sweden shares the poignant realities of integrating into a society that, while welcoming, often overlooks the unique challenges faced by migrants. Balancing work, studies, and family, Sozdar confronts daily the obstacles of language barriers and cultural differences. The discriminatory practices she endures, particularly in the job market, are a stark reminder that merit does not always take precedence. Her engagement in politics and activism—voting, demonstrating, fundraising—underscores her commitment to a Europe that upholds gender equality and offers equal opportunities for all women.

As the election approaches, the narratives of Sanaz and Sozdar become instrumental in highlighting the collective effort needed to create an inclusive environment for migrants. Their participation in political and civic activities, hindered though it may be by systemic barriers, is nonetheless vital for shaping the policies that affect their lives and futures.

This election is an opportunity to recognize and act upon the shared struggles and aspirations of migrant women. It’s a call to ensure that their voices are not only heard but also echoed in the halls of power. By voting, individuals can contribute to a movement that champions the rights of all, fostering an inclusive society where every person has the chance to thrive and contribute to our shared tapestry.

On June 9th, it’s imperative for those who can vote to remember stories like those of Sanaz and Sozdar. These stories are more than personal accounts; they are a collective plea for change, for a Europe that embraces diversity and offers equal opportunities to its residents.

Your vote is a powerful tool for change, an affirmation that every journey matters, and every voice deserves to be heard. “Your vote matters. If you vote, you have a say.” Let that be the mantra as we head to the polls, making decisions that will impact not just our individual lives but the very ethos of the continent we call home.