9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Gendering Migrations Building II, C4.02

Migrant Women's Organizations in Athens: Gender and Social Capital

Migrant women in Athens liaise and organize themselves in a variety of ways, forming groups, networks, associations and organizations. Most of those groupings are limited to female members, while others appear in the form of cultural associations and include men, although their participants are in the majority female. They are at most ethnically based, although there are two umbrella organizations which function in close contact with one another, and which encompass various ethnic groups: the African Women's Association which is open to membership from all over Africa, and the Pan-Hellenic Network of Migrant Women, which aspires to include all the migrant women's groupings all over Greece, and to act as a joint platform. Gender issues are of crucial importance to the process of multicultural democracy: men and women participate to the making of everyday life in the host country following a division of labor, which constitutes a re-negotiation of cultural values, symbolic meanings and material conditions. We are studying the quality of social capital which can be fostered and mobilized within the scope of women's organizations, both formal and informal. Based on in-depth interviews and participant observation, we are planning to analyze a) the various modes of networking of migrant women's organizations in Athens, b) the ways in which formality and informality of women's networks and / or organizations affect the social integration of migrant groups in Athens.