WOMEN FOR COMMON SPACES
Beginning in 2017, Women for Common Spaces has been working with Arabic-speaking women who live in Berlin, both in accommodation centers and private homes. By creating „safe spaces“ in the form of five-day-long workshops and meetings, the initiative offers women a place to share their asylum experiences and write about them from a very personal perspective. This not only leads to creating a clearer image about women’s lives, dreams, hopes and backgrounds, but the experience also empowers them in regaining their personal strength and self-confidence.
The work of the initiative is conceived as an active contribution against every form of violence and radicalization within exile communities. Women participating in the Arabic-language workshops will be given support in naming their challenges, while activities with local guests and partner organizations contribute to a new shared knowledge. By creating a „common space“ for listening – a room of free expression in which women can join, articulate, communicate and help each other in finding solutions – women are able to find their voice.
The aim of the Women for Common Spaces initiative is to build up a network of confident, informed, qualified and engaged Arabic-speaking exiled women, with a focus on respect for people’s cultural and social identity. Obtaining knowledge about politics and law in Germany and the fight against any form of violence and radicalization in exiled communities are essential goals of the project.
In the next two years, the focus of the initiative will go beyond documenting the asylum experience, or analyzing it, to begin locally training young, female refugee leaders. The initiative will not only empower them to become more engaged in German politics and society, but to also invest their knowledge to help older refugee women to become more engaged as well.
Women for Common Spaces Facebook page