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Stress, depression and trauma – Psychological Health for Refugee women

Our last health seminar was facilitated by experts for migrants and refugees from KommMit who offer psychological counseling for refugees in Berlin/Brandenburg.

Many women came with a lot of questions such as: can dizziness and sleeping problems be a psychological problem? I have a lot of stress and problems -What can I do ? How can I help somebody else? What can one do if psycho-therapy doesn’t help?

Continue reading Stress, depression and trauma – Psychological Health for Refugee women

Health Tribunal – Testimonies and Indictments on Lagers

Newsletter #16

We (Women in Exile and Friends) are among a few groups of organisations and individuals who have come together to plan a public hearing in the framework of the Permanent Peoples´ Tribunal established in Bologna in 1980. *1
Our focus is on health and a framing of the topic of human rights violations from a perspective of health and the health effects. Health is something everybody can relate to.

This alliance is to create a common struggle between refugee organisation and solidarity organisations. The groups and individuals are working with refugee and migrants on professional and/or activism level such as IPNNW, Boderline Europe, Medibüro, Respect, International Women Space and medical doctors. This public hearing will probably take place in early 2020 and will be charged to denounce the discrimination on medical sphere in Germany. In the tribunal we would like to show through testimonies and indictments how health issues in Germany are linked into social and political sphere.

Continue reading Health Tribunal – Testimonies and Indictments on Lagers

Interview: “Living with cervical cancer”

Newsletter #16

My name is Margrit and I came to Germany some years ago as an asylum seeker. I applied for my asylum in Eissenhüttenstadt. During my stay in Eissenhüttensadt I shared a room with other asylum seekers from different countries.  Before I was transferred to the next lager I started having complications in my body.

This did not bother me a lot because I thought the reasons could be change of weather, food and the stressful situation of asylum seeking. I thought these body changes and complications were because I have just arrived in the country and will go away as soon as I get used to them.

The pain grew more and I had to seek doctor’s help. I was met with shock as he detected cervical cancer and I couldn’t swallow the bitter truth that faced me; I got traumatised and depressed. My strength and hopes were dimmed since this was not my expectations and being in a new country and as a refugee was hard to figure out how my life will be.

Continue reading Interview: “Living with cervical cancer”

PM 07.04.2019 World Health Day: Refugees have a third class health coverage, where is universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere?

2019 World health day focuses on Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere but we are seeing how laws are racist and discriminating also on health issues, like „Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz“ passed in 1993, which was established to discourage asylum seekers from coming to or staying in Germany.

For over two years “Women in Exile” has been working on a health project regarding refugee women. The project was started because we realised many women suffer from gynecological problems. Most of them have no right to access an insurance coverage and they are offered with a temporary cover which only helps by granting minor treatment. Even when going to gynecologists they don’t know how to account for it financially, making the women go through a tough time with their bodies.

Continue reading PM 07.04.2019 World Health Day: Refugees have a third class health coverage, where is universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere?

Zystem, Myome, PCO & Co.

Newsletter #15

Exactly one year ago in our Newsletter no. 12  we were already reporting about the gynecological  problems of refugee women, with which the women  approached us in our meetings.

We got to know a lot of cases especially from women who had cystes and were operated, but also women with heavy bleedings, myomas,…

Unfortunately during this year we have been witnessing that many of these problemes were not treated appropriately. In many cases they are directly treated with radical/dramatical measures like operations and the women are lacking time and (medical) knowledge in their mother language to decide on a treatment on their own.

Continue reading Zystem, Myome, PCO & Co.

On Psychological treatment, Mental Health and Re-Traumatization

Newsletter #14

In our health project we have reached women who started speaking out about their health problems openly and asking for psychological support.

We realized that people are re-traumatized so in our group we try to empower women through coming together, giving and providing space for talking, sharing and being.

From this experience we started to network with Komm mit e.V., an organization which is providing psycho-social counseling in Brandenburg.

Psychotherapy is often connected to a stigma of being “mentally ill” so many women didn’t want to be connected with that. But we think it should be seen as very normal as one passed the stress of the flight which for many women includes sexualized violence and rape, furthermore the living conditions here, the isolation from the society and violence which continues in the lagers.

Continue reading On Psychological treatment, Mental Health and Re-Traumatization

Report on the Workshop self-examination of the breast from 23.-24. March 2018

Health Workshop Potsdam

Flyer: AR | EN | DE | FR

Due to lack of information and many questions from the refugee women we are working about the topic reproductive health.

We decided to empower ourselves by learning more about our own bodies.

Therefore we invited experts of the „feminist women health center“ (Feministischen Frauen Gesundheitszentrum ) in Berlin to facilitate a workshop on the upper body.

In the workshop we learned about the self-examination of the breast.

First we got informations about the structure and anatomy of the breast and the changes it goes through in a lifetime. Then we learned practically how we can examine the breast ourselves and so learn more about our bodies and to sense hints for possible sicknesses.

Continue reading Report on the Workshop self-examination of the breast from 23.-24. March 2018

Instruction on Self–examination of the breast

As result of the workshop where we learned about the self-examination of the breast, we have done a flyer, with the aim that is helps to spread the information, about breast self-examination among refugee women.

One of the goal of our workshops is that they become peer- workshop by sharing with others what was learnt during the workshops given

Flyer: AR | EN | DE | FR | Source-svg

“Reproductive Justices” – also for Refugee Women!

Newsletter #13

Some members of our group had the possibility to participate in a workshop on “Reproductive Justice” with professor Anne Hendrixon from the US.

The concept of “Reproductive Justice was developed in the Black feminist movement in the US. While the discussions on the topic in German leftist circles mainly focus on the right to abort, reproductive justice is about the right to have children or not as well as asking for the conditions for raising children and how these conditions influence people’s decisions.

For example, the rising right in Germany today explicitly advocates for population policy – either by proposing to fight migration through birth control in the Global South or by calling on women of German origin to have more children. In many ways, this agenda can connect to national and global policies that are already in place and against which hardly any counter-strategies exist.

Continue reading “Reproductive Justices” – also for Refugee Women!

Same Right to Health Care for all?

In many cities and regions, the health insurance card for refugees has existed for a long time.

Ever since the card was introduced in Hamburg and Bremen, we have stated that it indeed is a great improvement as we don’t have to apply for a sick chit from the social office everytime before we go to the doctor. But we have also criticized that the card doesn’t fundamentally change the system of 3rd class health care for refugees which is determined by the racist “Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz” law.

For all health care that exceeds pure pain or emergency treatment, we still have to get the permission from the social office.

In Brandenburg, still six districts and the city of Frankfurt/Oder are refusing to give out the health insurance card. The spokesperson of the district of Märkisch-Oderland, Thomas Behrendt, said in December to the local newspaper: “The existing system is well-established.” Continue reading Same Right to Health Care for all?