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In the words of Marai Larasi: “If we are to end violence against women and girls, we need to create seismic shifts across our social norms”

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

"Marai Larasi is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a black and minority ethnic women’s organization working to respond to and prevent violence against marginalized women and girls in Europe. Imkaan is now a partner in the EU/UN Women regional programme, ‘Implementing Norms, Changing Minds’, which aims to end violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Recently, Ms. Larasi has been supporting the preparation of a guidance note on intersectional issues for UN Women.

'I have been working on ending violence against women for 23 years. Black and minority ethnic women have always been central to my practice. Even before I had the language to describe ‘intersectionality’, I somehow understood that the journeys of black and minority ethnic women and girls were being shaped by exclusion and marginalization in different ways to our counterparts. I joined Imkaan in 2009, and this has provided me with the opportunity to focus my work primarily on black and minority ethnic women and girls. However, even before I joined Imkaan, I worked with colleagues to develop specialist services for black and minority ethnic women – for example, shelter accommodation for refugee women who had experienced violence.

...If we are to end violence against women and girls, and create a truly equal world, we need to start to create seismic shifts across our social norms. This is not just about transforming belief systems and behaviours in terms of gender; it also means addressing other norms – for example, around ethnicity, class and disability – all of which contribute to holding other oppressive systems in place.'”

Read the full article from UN Women.