As the leading feminist NGO in Cyprus, we strive to make a difference, day in, day out.
We have a number of policy priorities, which are set by the issues that affect the everyday lives of women and girls in Cyprus, as well as the Mediterranean region. Below you can find out more about the thematic areas in which we carry out most of our activity as an NGO.
Freeing society from violence against women & girls
Combating violence against women has been a top thematic priority since the organisation's early days. We’ve conducted ground-breaking research on this topic in Cyprus and beyond, while also being active in raising awareness, and monitoring national and EU efforts in eradicating violence against women and girls in all its forms.
Targeting the demand in sex trafficking
Trafficking in women has been priority issue for MIGS since 2006 and our activities have had a high impact on policy formulation on a national level. Our organisation focuses specifically on tackling the demand side of trafficking in women for sexual exploitation and on gender mainstreaming in anti-trafficking policies. Among our key priorities in this area is to raise awareness among key stakeholders, including the public and the media. Simply put, demand for sexual services fuels trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. To that end, we're also working towards ending prostitution by calling for the criminalisation of demand for sexual services, in combination with lobbying for exit, integration and empowerment programmes for women in prostitution.
Giving a stronger voice to migrant women
MIGS believes in the importance of a multifaceted approach in standing by migrant women in Cyprus, whether they are economic migrants like domestic workers or women refugees and asylum seekers. We have focused on supporting migrant women in Cyprus in their efforts to initiate migrant women’s organisations that actively engage in public dialogue on integration and migration. We continue our lobbying and advocacy work with policy makers on a national and EU level for the inclusion of gender mainstreaming in migration and integration policies that have an impact on migrant women’s lives. We also help shape social policies and design action programmes addressing migrant women’s specific needs. More specifically, we have worked to increase the capacity of female migrant domestic workers to respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
Gender & the media
MIGS systematically monitors mainstream Cypriot and European print and digital media outlets on issues of gender equality and women’s rights violations. We intervene with statements or press releases in order to raise awareness or state our position on institutional decisions or actions that impact women and girls. In 2009, MIGS began to conduct research, raise awareness among media professionals, and to promote gender equality in and through the media. We contribute the Cyprus chapter in the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP 2010 and GMMP 2015) as well the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), a worldwide, multi-stakeholder network of individuals and organisations working together to increase gender equality in and through the media and ICTs.
Youth work – busting gender stereotypes and building healthy relationships
Over the years, we’ve developed real expertise in implementing innovative pedagogical tools to promote gender equality in and through formal and non-formal education and to prevent gender-based violence. We’ve also created educational manuals and training materials, digital tools such as online learning platforms and educational apps, as well as online games. Our learner-centred approach guides youth through experiential and participatory activities: learners are encouraged to explore their own attitudes, and the impact these have on their lives and their institutional environment.
Promoting women in decision-making roles
Since 2009, MIGS has been a leading voice in calling for binding positive action measures to ensure that women are equally represented at all levels of economic and political decision-making. From campaigning for women’s equal representation in parliament, to organising stakeholder discussions on women on company boards. We also want to enhance the visibility and impact of women, especially across business, politics and industry. This can only be achieved by multiplying women’s voices on key issues in the national dialogue, combating sexism and bias in media coverage, and increasing opportunities for women.
Gender equality in policymaking
Economic and social policies, including policies related to social protection, health and care, education, housing, poverty or unemployment, are important tools for the promotion of gender equality, as they affect the day-to-day living conditions of women and men. We strive to make an impact on these policies through research and data collection, policy recommendations, guidelines and public sector training. Our aim is to bring women’s inequality to the fore and persuade those with power to make positive changes to services, policy, regulation, practices, and laws that negatively affect women.