Cross-posted from UN Women
“From a young age, I have worked looking after children. Here, in Chiapas, migrant workers come from many states and countries. I’m from a community called Poconichim, in the municipality of Chenalhó, State of Chiapas. I speak Tsotzil and I am part of an organization called the Chiapas Coalition of Migrant Communities (Cimich). We used to feel that we had no rights, no way to participate, no voice in many aspects of life.
During the training we overcame some of our fears. We learned so much by sharing. I saw that other people are working in this area, on migration, and that we share common goals with other organizations. This is really encouraging because sometimes when things get difficult, I feel discouraged and I don’t want to keep going. But I see that other organizations [for migrant workers, like mine] also face hurdles and they persevere. So I see that if others can do it, I also have to keep trying.
We’ve created youth groups, a school for women, and a community finance office. We’ve also set up photography, video, theatre and dance workshops. This encourages me to keep working in groups. We want to make sure migrants know their rights. We demand that our rights [such as to better pay and working conditions] be respected!”
Patricia Pérez Gómez, 27, is a migrant woman worker from Poconichim, Mexico, and part of the Chiapas State Coalition of Migrant Communities. She participated in a workshop in January 2016, which dealt with migration, gender, development and global care chains, organized as part of a programme funded by the European Commission and implemented by UN Women in three countries. The programme aims to strengthen migrant women’s organizations to effectively advocate for their rights. These efforts contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 8, which aims to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure work environments, particularly for women migrants, and SDG 10, which aims to reduce inequality, including through the use of social protection and well-managed migration policies.
Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.