Women in Exile is an initiative of refugee women founded in Brandenburg in 2002 by refugee women to fight for their rights. We decided to organize as a refugee women’s group because we have made the experience that refugee women are doubly discriminated against not only by the racist and discriminative general refugee laws but also as women.
Refugees are obligated to live in “collective accommodations“ where they are entitled to a 6sqm² space, in these narrow spaces they share not only the rooms but facilities such as kitchen, toilets and bathrooms. This results in lots of conflicts inside the collective homes, including physical and sexual violence for women. Thus our campaign „No lager for women and children, Abolish all lagers“.
In 2011,Women in Exile and activists in solidarity without flight background, founded Women in Exile and Friends. Our fights are focused on the abolition of all laws discriminatory to asylum seekers and migrants and on the interconnections of racism and sexism. Together we develop strategies to achieve political change and take our protest against the inhuman living conditions of refugee women to the public
Our fundamental political goal is the utopia of a just society without exclusion and discrimination, with equal rights for all, irrespective of where they come from and where they go to. We perceive ourself as a bridge between the refugee and the feminist movement. Our experience is, that women can relate to each other, regardless of all differences like age, origin, religion, status, sexual orientation or other factors, and can make an impact together.
We meet monthly and make regular visits to refugee women in the “collective accommodation” in Brandenburg to exchange experiences . This way we find out about the living conditions in each specific Heim and the women`s immediate needs. Together through workshops and seminars, we educate ourselves to become peers for those who come after us and develop perspectives to improve our already difficult living situation.
Through our peer education, we have managed to encourage and help several refugee women not only to demand for their rights but to organise themselves in their different areas nationalwide to become loud and bring out the problems they are facing during the asly procedure to the public. We develop perspectives to fight for our rights in the asylum procedure and to defend ourselves against sexualised violence, discrimination, and exclusion.
Throughout the years we have built different local and national wide networks and together we plan campaigns and political actions, such as our raft tour in 2014 and several bus national wide bus tours. We demonstrate, give interviews to the media and speeches in meetings to let society know of the problems faced by refugee women and their demands.
You can financially support Women In Exile here