Oxfam has been working to improve the lives of ethnic minority women affected by poverty, inequality and discrimination in England since 2004:
40% of all ethnic minority women - twice the level of White women - live in poverty, with particularly high rates for women from Black African (55%), Pakistani (65%) and Bangladeshi (69%) backgrounds. Minority and migrant women are more likely to experience poor mental and physical health, domestic violence and other forms of abuse and exploitation, and are less well-paid than their white counterparts. As ethnic minority women represent just 1% of local councillors and MPs, they are invisible in nearly all of our decision-making institutions.
The Routes to Solidarity's tailored programme of training and mentoring is in partnership with women-led groups in the three Northern regions of England (North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and North East) and has developed and delivered a range of initiatives that support, empower and create positive changes for ethnic minority women. Examples of our work include producing research, supporting networks and learning exchanges, organising seminars, and supporting small scale enterprise and policy initiatives.
Routes to Solidarity is proud to be working with a range of grassroots and leading women's organisations including:
Developing relationships with policymakers
Participants are given support in building relationships with policymakers, via face-to-face meetings, as well as through producing policy papers and responding to government consultations, highlighting how to benefit BME communities. During the course of the project we will have introduced participants to over 60 policymakers at different levels. The results of this project will be used to develop best practice case studies, and as a basis for further lobbying activities.
To find out more about the impact of the project in the initial phase, see the Routes to Solidarity project summary.