This week, we met Ms. Modi Ntambwe, from RVDAGE/V, a federation gathering 14 member associations representing different sub-Saharan communities in Belgium.
« The federation was created to help these associations materialise their projects and to help them voice their opinions on issues such as education, integration or access to employment. We made the choice to let them act where they thought to be most useful. This explains why some are only active in Belgium or in sub-Saharan countries. The objective today is to partner up with other organisations to find solutions together, which is why I am also the Coordinator of SHARE-Forum of Belgian Network of Migrant Women. », says Modi.
Indeed, access to employment for women is Modi’s first priority: « it is important to work on this issue because we are not all equal in this area. Access to employment is very difficult for migrant women and, especially in these times of crisis, they are the most vulnerable. »
This is why Modi believes that migrant women have a great role to play in the recovery of the economy, particularly through entrepreneurship: « migrant women have this culture of self-employment, as the labor market is quite closed to them. They are not afraid to take initiatives and undertake projects. They should be encouraged to become true businesswomen in order to create a business that is able to generate new jobs, and not just stop at being self-employed. »
The European SMEs are regarded as the backbone of the European economy and for Modi that is a good thing. According to Modi, « you can straighten the European economy by returning to employment and entrepreneurship of proximity, and on this scale, there are places to be taken by all women. SMEs often offer long-term employment as is the case with family business that pass from generation to generation. This is partly due to the fact that employers are in touch with reality and can more easily adopt to changes. In addition, it generates jobs that cannot be relocated, creating wealth locally. Thanks to this, we could avoid some economic problem as massive layoffs. »
In addition to being a positive factor for growth, Modi explained that migrant women are also important to Europe’s sustainable development: « the materials and objects have different lives. Sustainable development is something you find in all cultures of the world. African women are particularly good at this. Just to give an example, Malagasy women are very good at turning horns into jewelry. »
You understood it, migrant women have a positive impact in Europe and their integration into our society has become essential: « The solution is really to communicate. A double culture is not a problem it is a solution. », says Modi.
You can discuss this topic and others, on 5 and 6 June 2015 the United Cultures Festival UNITEE to stand RVDAGE/V and SHARE-Forum of Migrants.