Should refugees be taught lessons on female equality?

(228 Posts)
PinkyofPie Mon 01-Aug-16 09:20:36

Thangam Debbonaire MP, who chairs the all-parliamentary group on refugees, believes male refugees settling in Britain should be give lessons in women's equality. link here
This concern seems to have stemmed following the Cologne attacks.

Thoughts?

Miffer Mon 01-Aug-16 09:23:59

I would like to see non-refugees have this sort of education too.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Mon 01-Aug-16 09:29:58

Miffed that was mentioned by the MP also actually. It's like the Norwegian initiative which gave similar classes to immigrant men . Ironically FWR was in the middle of a big thread on that topic when the Cologne attacks kicked off.

I think it's a great idea. It is the first step in recognising that not all cultures can get on without serious readjustment but it also sends out the message that we are proud of our principles of gender equality.

It would be interesting to revisit the Norwegian initiative to see if it has worked.

annandale Mon 01-Aug-16 09:32:45

Just as important to teach women as well, surely.

Unfortunately it's quite difficult to proclaim 'you have equal human rights in this country' while refusing any option to support yourself or locking people up in indefinite detention

ChocChocPorridge Mon 01-Aug-16 09:44:02

I think it's important to educate the men and the women - so the women also know what their rights are.

hollyisalovelyname Mon 01-Aug-16 09:47:58

It's a great idea.

NotCitrus Mon 01-Aug-16 10:24:09

I think it's a good idea, along with other advice on life in the UK. People will say it singles out refugees, but IIRC this topic is covered both on the Life in the UK test immigrants have to take if they want citizenship, and in PSME or whatever they call those health, morality and citizenship lessons at school nowadays.

CuttedUpPear Mon 01-Aug-16 10:33:56

Good points above but also I would like to see refugees being given the opportunity to talk to people in the west about their own family values.

I work with refugees and I've constantly been struck by their strong family ties and absolute respect for their parents and other senior relatives. I think we could all learn a thing or two from people arriving here from other cultures.

I was really put on the spot when a young Afghan man asked me if it was true that we in the UK place our elderly relatives away from the family in care homes. He couldn't comprehend why we would even consider it.

AyeAmarok Mon 01-Aug-16 10:37:25

I think it's a great idea. But women should be involved too so they also know what to expect, otherwise the men who are determined to continue to treat them as second class citizens will continue to do so and the woman will be none the wiser, and won't know where to go for help.

Grimarse Mon 01-Aug-16 11:06:11

I work with refugees and I've constantly been struck by their strong family ties and absolute respect for their parents and other senior relatives. I think we could all learn a thing or two from people arriving here from other cultures.

I was really put on the spot when a young Afghan man asked me if it was true that we in the UK place our elderly relatives away from the family in care homes. He couldn't comprehend why we would even consider it.

This is a fantastic point. There is an arrogance about western society that assumes we have all our shit together compared to foreign types. Cultural exchange works both ways.

annandale Mon 01-Aug-16 11:52:30

Absolutely Grimarse. I would also point out though that he should think a little bit about who does the care work - will his 80 year old grandmother care for his 100 year old great grandmother? What if he has four grandparents all over 90? He might also wish to know that there is a historical taboo in England about living in the same house as your parents when you set up a new household. He might regard that as a historical tribal curiosity, and in many ways he would be right, but it's a real factor.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 01-Aug-16 11:57:32

I think it's a great idea.

I was really put on the spot when a young Afghan man asked me if it was true that we in the UK place our elderly relatives away from the family in care homes. He couldn't comprehend why we would even consider it

My friend is British Asian (family originally from Pakistan). He said amongst his friends on family they just don't do care homes. The thing is the reason they are able not to is normally because a woman (wife, sister, daughter) looks after the elderly relative.
In theory it is lovely that the elderly relatives are cared for but it's rarely the blokes doing the bulk of the caring.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Aug-16 11:58:18

What, Afghan men pack their jobs in to care for their mothers in law full time? Who supports the family financially?

I'll happily ship myself off to a care home in old age rather than arrogantly think the younger, female members of my family can put their own lives aside to tend to me.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 01-Aug-16 12:59:52

I'll happily ship myself off to a care home in old age rather than arrogantly think the younger, female members of my family can put their own lives aside to tend to me

Me too. I'm very wary of this assumption that because it works for Afghan families we are somehow doing this wrong and belittling of how life is lived here. Presumably the Afghan way of keeping elderly relatives in the family involves living accommodation which would be unacceptably overcrowded and lacking in privacy. I don't think there would be the slightest doubt the wants and needs of unmarried daughters get much of a look in.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Aug-16 13:29:58

Exactly. How many MNers have threads about their 'other culture' in laws who expect to visit for weeks, be waited on and entertained by their DIL etc in a two bed flat with one bathroom.

We don't need to learn from them. We choose not to live that way, generally.

TalkingintheDark Mon 01-Aug-16 14:33:58

I think this is a great idea and agree that it needs to be extended to women too. And I like the way it's being mooted as part of a wider initiative to address misogyny in our society generally.

Re the parents - I don't agree that unquestioning respect for your parents/elders is a healthy or desirable trait. That's one of the things that makes it so hard for people to identify and escape from abusive dynamics within their own family.

There are sadly a lot more abusive families out there than many people would like to believe (particularly emotionally abusive) and I can't imagine that's any less true in refugee families than indigenous ones.

And yy to the pp saying how it's always women being expected to sacrifice their lives to care for elderly parents/relatives - and often to put up with all kinds of shit from them too.

iPost Mon 01-Aug-16 14:39:19

People hear/say "education" as though it were a magic wand. But it isn't.

I emigrated at 21, almost 2 decades ago. You cannot " educate" the values that became mine due to allmy formative years having been spent in the UK.

I got "educated". At length. (Especially in the country I first went to) About how the host culture basically thought I was a lot less equal to men than I believed myself to be. Not unnaturally I was one to keen to give up what I saw as my rightful power and resisted all attempts to re-educate me.

If you can't educate the feminist out somebody, then I don't understand how it will miraculously work on a mysogenist.

You can tell people the social norms that will give them the option to avoid actions that will have lots of angry people wanting to bop them one. And you can clarify culturally unanticipated laws, so they can choose to avoid ending up in jail going "wtf ! what did I do ?"

But the fundamental belief that your power/rights should be what you have grown up to believe them to rightfully be.... I am far from convinced there is anything a course, no matter how well meaning, can change.

Having cared for an elderly relative, in our home, until the end of their life, I tend to find the people most enthusiastic about that sort of hands on care tend to be people that haven't actually done it. I am going to Dignitas. Damned if DS is going through what we went through and I don't think there'll be much gov. supoort for old age care by the time we are in need of it.

iPost Mon 01-Aug-16 15:34:15

I emigrated at 21, almost 2 decades ago

Yeah, I wish I was almost 40. Typo, 2 decades should read 3 decades.

Grimarse Mon 01-Aug-16 16:12:34

Given the levels of sexual assault, misogyny, everyday sexism, salary inequality and general twattishness of the beloved British male, perhaps refugees have nothing to learn from our society then? A perfunctory overview of the law as it stands, and the likelihood of it not being applied due to the societal attitude that even here, women are less than human, means that most male refugees should fit right in. By all means educate the incoming women, but also warn them that all we have is theoretical equality. In reality, there isn't much difference between the UK and wherever they came from.

RhodaBull Mon 01-Aug-16 17:28:03

Bizarre.

Many British males are arses, but I've yet to see their wives walking a few paces behind them totally covered, and I don't think many men in this day and age object to their wives going to work. I don't feel obligated to serve my mil and look after her, let alone live with her. Dh might try to tune out when I voice my (many) opinions, but I sure have the right to say anything I like.

Check out this country carefully, and it's men, Grimarse, before you diss it so readily. I don't think you'd care too much for a woman's life in Afghanistan.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Mon 01-Aug-16 17:35:04

In reality, there isn't much difference between the UK and wherever they came from

I think you might be down playing just how shit other country's are regarding equality.
Yes the uk has a long way to go before women and men are equal but huge strides have been made.

Grimarse Mon 01-Aug-16 17:42:58

I'm a man. I used to assume that the UK was a good place to live, be married and bring up my daughter. But this board seems to indicate that due to my privilege and socialisation, that I am oblivious to the daily barrage of shite that women have to endure.

There is another thread on here currently where some of the posters estimate that around fifty per cent of the men in the UK are responsible for rape and/or sexual assault at some point in their lives. That's every other man you meet or know. If this is anywhere near true, then it knocks all my blasé assumptions for six.

ishallconquerthat Mon 01-Aug-16 18:13:11

I was really put on the spot when a young Afghan man asked me if it was true that we in the UK place our elderly relatives away from the family in care homes. He couldn't comprehend why we would even consider it.

Because here we don't have women who are forbidden to work and spend their whole lives caring for children and/or elderly relatives.

I don't think the bloke who said that is the person wiping the bum of his grandfather. Or feeding him and cleaning the mess. Three. Times. A. Day.

(I also think care homes are a very bad solution, but having slave-women in the family is not great either)

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 01-Aug-16 18:13:39

Check out this country carefully, and it's men, Grimarse, before you diss it so readily. I don't think you'd care too much for a woman's life in Afghanistan.

I knew Grim was a man. Not quite sure what he is aiming for but I simply do not believe 50% of UK men are going around raping and assaulting women. The UK is a good place to be a woman.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 01-Aug-16 18:20:14

Oh and as for all these wonderfully unselfish Afghan families looking after elderly relatives life expectancy in Afghanistan is 59 for men and 61 for women.

The vast majority of men aged 59 in the UK are still active and working and in no need of care. The vast majority of women aged 61 in the UK will be active and in no need of care and probably still working.

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