AKIDWA Milestones

2014 The first family planning clinic for FGM survivors opens in May
  • AkiDwa’s pioneering work on research into FGM  led to the opening of Ireland’s first specialised family planning clinic for women who have undergone  FGM. Following meetings with stakeholders throughout 2013, the Irish Family Planning Associationand the HSE open the clinic in May
  • In March  AkiDwA CEO Salome Mbugua  made a presentation to Members of the European Parliament in Brussels  on  Bringing Life to Plural Europe, at the invitation of Younous OMARJEE and Jean-Jacob BICEP.  Her talk  led to  the EU parliament discussing xenophobia and racism as causes of inequalities and injustice
  •  AkiDwA’s campaigning and lobbying and working in collaboration with other stakeholders produced positive results when the Reception and Integration Agency developed and published a  policy on sexual and gender  based violence for managers, staff and residents of all  accommodation centres for asylum seekers in Ireland
  •  Following a feasibility study for AkiDwA, a new strategic plan was developed for the organisation
2013  AkiDwA  publishes Between Two Cultures, a book of inspirational stories  based on the experiences of young migrant women
  • AkiDwA CEO   delivered a presentation  to the European Parliament in Brussels on  the impact of the  financial and economic crisis on women. She contributed to a policy paper on the role of migrant women in diaspora for international development that was published by Friends of Europe a European organisation
  • Akidwa undertook a survey of  Young migrant women
  • Between Two Cultures, A book featuring  inspirational stories of the experiences of young migrant women  in Ireland was launched  by AkiDwA  to celebrate International Women’s Day
2012   FGM is outlawed in Ireland
  • After more than a decade of campaigning  by AkiDwA  in Ireland, the Criminal Justice Act 2012 (Female Genital Mutilation)  was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins on 2nd April, making FGM illegal.
  • The law became effective on 20th September, making it a criminal offence for anyone resident in Ireland to perform FGM. The maximum penalty under the new law is a fine, imprisonment for up to 14 years or both
  • AkiDwA launched the No Place to Call Home Report which highlighted Issues  of Safety and Security  for  Women Seeking Asylum in Ireland
  • After years of campaigning we saw progress in the area of domestic violence for migrant women, when The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service  (INIS) published Guidelines for Immigrants experiencing Domestic Violence
  • AkiDwA’s new strategic plan was launched.
2011  AkiDwA makes a Dáil presentation on behalf of women living in direct provision
  • AkiDwA partnered with the Equality Authority to produce a report on  The Multiple Discrimination against Migrant Women in Education and Employment in Ireland
  • In July  AkiDwA and Amnesty International met with the Commissioner of Refugee Applications and a senior member of their policy unit  to  discuss a European initiative called  Engendering the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
  • AkiDwA gave a presentation at the Dáil to the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality which focused on the barriers faced by women who are living in direct provision when they seek remedies for  domestic violence
  • AkiDwA celebrated a decade of work with migrant women and key stakeholders across Ireland
  • AkiDwA completed a ten year organisational review and evaluation
  • AkiDwA launched the publication, ‘Home and Away: Migrant Women Transforming Ireland’. An exhibition based on the report was shown in libraries and local authorities across Ireland.
2010 AkiDwA CEO Salome Mbugua  is elected to the National Women’s Council of Ireland
  • AkiDwA published Am Only Saying it Now, research  into  the Experiences of Women Seeking Asylum in Ireland
  • AkiDwA was invited to the Dáil twice  to  give presentations to the Committee on Health and Children and to the Committee on Women, Equality and Justice
  •  AkiDwA  Launched an Information Booklet on Access to Employment and Education for Migrants
  • AkiDwA CEO Salome Mbugua was elected as Deputy Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.
  • AkiDwA CEO is selected to represent Ireland on the Eisenhower Women’s Leadership Programme in the USA
2009 Handbook on FGM: Information for Health Care Professionals Working in Ireland
  •  AkiDwA and the Royal College of Surgeons launch  the first Irish Handbook on FGM: Female Genital Mutilation: Information for Health Care Professionals Working in Ireland 
  • first data on FGM in Ireland
  • One migrant woman was elected as a Councillor in County Monaghan after AkiDwA organized a national conference entitled African and Migrant Women: Creating and Shaping Changes in support  of  migrant women running in  local elections
  • AkiDwA gave a presentation on FGM to the Joint Oireachteas Committee on Health and Children
  •  The  Minister for Health Mary Harney announced her intention to prohibit FGM in Ireland
  • AkiDwA established the Brain Gain Project,  a networking platform for  migrant professionals and  business people operating in Ireland
2008 AkiDwA establishes National Steering Committee to  end  Female Genital Mutilation
  • AkiDwA and IFPA establish the National Steering Committee to work together to end  Female Genital Mutilation.
  • AkiDwA developed and launched the Irish National Action Plan to address FGM in the country
  • AkiDwA  organised a Conference and exhibition  on Integration and Embracing Diversity
  • AkiDwA  provided support to  theWomen’s Enterprise Association of Rakai, Uganda
  • Implemented the women health project on  Ending FGM
2007 AkiDwA helps HSE to develop National Intercultural Strategy
  • AkiDwA CEO  is appointed to the Board  of Ireland’s Equality Authority in order  to represent  the interests of migrants
  • AkiDwA  makes a presentation on migrant issues to the Anti-Poverty Network in Brussels
  •  AkiDwA  published our  research on Black Irish Women in the Labour Market
  • AkiDwA gave a presentation on Race and Immigration in the New Ireland at the University of Notre Dame, USA, alongside  former President Mary Robinson
  • AkiDwA  makes a Submission to the Health Services Executive to help it develop Ireland’s  National Intercultural Strategy
  •  An AkiDwA project on domestic violence is  funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (DJELR) resulting in  a workshop, and  the publication of our research
2006 AkiDwA becomes a registered charity
  • AkiDwA publishes a short book entitled Her Story: Migration Stories of African Women 
  • AkiDwA  organises a Conference entitled: Challenging the Invisibility of Black and Ethnic Minority Women in Ireland
  • AkiDwA partners with Business in the Community  (BiTC) and SPIRASI, to organise the  Employment for the Parents of Irish Citizens (EPIC) project 
2005 working on the National Action Plan against Racism
  • AkiDwA receives its first substantial funding from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland
  • AkiDwA’s first organisational structures, and policiesand strategic plan are developed
  • AkiDwA secures its very first office at the Dublin Central Mission
  • AkiDwA National Director Salome Mbugua presented a key note speech on Racism in the 21st Century: Implementing the National Action Plan against Racism at the landmark Croke Park Conference, which was organised by the NCCRI and many other  groups
  • Focus group discussions are held in Athlone with migrant women from FGM practising communities in order to gauge their understanding of FGM and to begin assessing the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation  in Ireland
2004 AkiDwA lobbies against deportation of migrant parents of Irish Children
  • AkiDwA visits women  in Mountjoy Prison on International Women’s Day
  • AkiDwA initiates the ‘Coalition against the Deportation of Irish Children’ (CADIC) with Dr Ronit Lentin.
  • AkiDwA delivered training on capacity building to300 women in six counties
  • AkiDwA makes a submission to  the NGO alliance against racism
  • AkiDwA  contributes to the Second report of the International Convention on  the Elimination of all Forms of Racism
2003 AkiDwA is officially launched by  Minister of State Tom Kitt
  • AkiDwA delivered training on the representation and participation to 374 migrant women.
  • AkiDwA  begins Outreach to migrant women in seventeen counties and conducts needs assessments with them
  • AkiDwA makes a presentation to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights on the Immigration Bill 2002 and on the implications of the Supreme Court judgement concerning the residency rights of migrant parents of Irish Citizens
2002 AkiDwA develops our  first training package on racism 
  • AkiDwA’s first training package Understanding Racism and its Effect in Society was developed and delivered to community groups and schools
  • AkiDwA  makes a submission to the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform (DJELR) asking for a National Action Plan for Women
  • AkiDwA contributed to the National Women’s Council of Ireland’s anti-racism and women’s project, In from the Margin and delivered the keynote address at the  NWCI conference
  • AkiDwA produced our second training package on Race, Women and Cultural Diversity and delivered  it to indigenous and migrant women, in association with the Catherine McAuley Centre
  • AkiDwA  makes a  submission to the DJELR on the need for  Ireland to develop a National Action Plan against Racism together with the Catherine McAuley Centre and the Islamic Cultural  Centre of Ireland.
2001  AkiDwA  helps to establish a networking platform for African Women in Dublin
  • Three open door meetings were held at Catherine McAuley Centre to develop support networks for migrant women
  • AkiDwA’s First social intercultural event was held at  the Irish Film Centre