AGAINST RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA BY CROSSING THE MEDITERRANEAN. LOOKING AT WOMEN

The project ‘Against racism and xenophobia by crossing the Mediterranean’ aimed at fighting prejudices and racist stereotypes through the creation of a free space of exchange of ideas and experience sharing. Of course, not everyone experiences racism in the same way depending on their origin or skin color, however, racism is also not perceived in the same way depending on gender. Women experience racism differently than men. The project also attempted to highlight this phenomenon.

The Spanish association AIFED and its Tunisian partner ONET / BRCV Sousse have sought, through the organization of debates and activities such as the human bookshop, to give voice to young people to understand the experience they have of racism.

Indeed, racism and sexism are linked because they are based on the same reasoning. The first establishes a hierarchy of one supposed race over another, while the second considers that there is a hierarchy of genders. These two beliefs are therefore based on a common ideology, an ideology of hierarchy. This link has also been established by a study of the psychologist Maite Garaigordobil from the University of the Basque Country in Spain, sexist people are more likely to engage in racist behavior, and vice versa.

In this sense, the project was keen to give special importance to the words of women who, in a way, "accumulate" discrimination. For example, it was noted during the human bookshop that black women were more likely to suffer both racist and sexist insults than black men. Indeed, black women suffer from a prejudice on a supposedly more advanced sexualization than women of other colors. They are therefore even more sexualized and objectified than others. This is reflected in the insults they suffer.

As an example, the black female Tunisian MP Jamila Ksiksi was called in late 2019 "slave" and "ugly". If one imagines a black man being called a "slave", one cannot imagine a black man being called "ugly". We can therefore see that prejudice and racist insults are added to sexist prejudice. It is therefore a double scourge that must be fought with all the more vigor.

On the other side of the Mediterranean, in Spain, black or veiled people also suffer discrimination. In particular in the housing sector, where black or veiled people or those with a foreign sounding name are more likely to be refused access to rental housing. It is known that foreigners are generally poorer and find it much more difficult to become homeowners, so they are dependent on renting. In addition, women often have dependent children, which makes their situation even more precarious if they encounter difficulties in obtaining housing.

 

Emilien Cazaban

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