Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece organized nine training workshops on Gender, Reproductive and Primary Health for Migrant Communities from March to June 2019 in Athens. The training workshops were delivered by Mahmoud Abdelrasoul, medical doctor, and were linguistically supported by Kazim Roish, in Greek, Arabic and Farsi. Three workshops were addressed to the Afghan community, men and women, two were dedicated to refugee and migrant women from the refugee camps of Skaramagkas and Elaionas, two more were addressed to a variety of migrant and refugee communities, while in the final one members of the African communities participated.
The curriculum of the training workshops was based on five core topics: Gender, migration and human rights; Violence against women; Gender and the right to health; Gender and public health; First aid and community interventions. It aimed to challenge stereotypical views regarding gender and human rights and to change the narrative; to empower migrant and refugee women and to inform them about core concepts related to gender-based violence; to support men in addressing issues of masculinity and male isolation; to provide core information regarding reproductive and public health; and to train participants on first aid and community interventions to promote health within their communities.
The interaction during the workshops indicated that migrant and refugee communities need further support regarding public health issues and access, more relevant information, as well as support in formally communicating the needs of their communities to the public institutions. Regarding reproductive and public health, various gaps have been identified as the communities are not being properly informed by institutions on these subjects. Although they were interested in sexually transmitted diseases, they did not feel comfortable engaging in relevant discussions and needed time to disclose. Communities have expressed strong interest in matters related to gender equality and domestic violence. They supported equal rights for women and characterised violence against women and children reprehensible. They stressed that the living conditions and the anticipation of an unknown future are conditions that lead to the continuation of domestic violence. Finally, they highlighted that migrants and refugees are facing often racist treatment in their pursuit of work and housing, in public transportations, as well as in some public health structures, a fact that directly affects their living conditions, health and well-being.