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Women in Exile – 8th March 2019 Women* Strike activities

Our Women* Strike demonstration in cooperation with the FAU and Jugend Linke Potsdam had a participation of around 250 persons. It started at the Potsdam HBF and ended at the Brandenburger Tor with several stops, the first one was at the parliament. Several groups including the ASTA Potsdam read empowering speeches supporting women in all spheres of life.

After the demonstration 50 women from Women in Exile and friends proceeded to Freiland to eat and where a powerful Feminism Workshop on same, same but different was conducted.

The idea of the workshop was to share our knowledge and learn from each other on women struggles from different countries and why it is important to fight for ourselves and also join collective fights. This was highlighted by a power point presentation of different women who have been recognized nationally and internationally for their fight for women rights.

Then, this was followed by discussions in small groups which went deeper into personal and international struggles and how we can support each other in our struggle for liberation. „Since feminism is about hearing different stories“, in these small groups we talked about personal experiences and generally what women from our countries of origin went through in the past and what they are currently going through. What has improved and what needs to improve so that patriarchy and sexism stops to dominate the society.

We heard different stories for example from Somalia where girls are now not only being brutally raped but murdered and mutilated. So that now a lot of them are not able to leave the house alone, for example to attend school.

In Cameroon the 8th of March has nowadays become a day of mourning for a lot of women and some women reported from a shopping campaign by the government in which special women cloth are printed and sold for the Women Day.

The hashtag #mydressmychoice coming up in 2014 in Kenya, after an incident where a woman was stripped and assaulted by man because of an “indecent” clothing, pushed a lot of woman to the streets fighting against violence against women and self-determination.

In Germany and all other European countries the violations and violence against women is constantly present which is also reflected by the full women shelters. Yet, in most cases there isn’t any justice.

We see it is the same fight all over the world and therefore we will stick to the quote one of the workshop participants shared with us:

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

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