Rights of women are well defined, but reality is different. In the year of the 70th anniversary of the “Deutsche Grundgesetz”, der German Basic Law, migrant and refugee women reflected on their rights in several creative workshop. 70 years ago, in 1949, just after the end of World War II, wise men and women defined the new German Basic Law. This body of juridical text can be compared with constitutions other countries have. The first 20 articles define the basic rights.
Migrant and refugee women studies these rights in easy German in their workshops. “Men and women are equal”, “everyone has the right to freely decide about his/her personal life”, “freedom of opinion”, “freedom of media and press”, “freedom to convene” and “freedom of religion” were the most discussed topics in the workshops.
To learn about their rights was an eye-opener for many of the refugee women. After individual and very personal reflection, they picked one article, one key-message which is of upmost importance to them. Photographs were taken and a small scrap-booklet was developed in German and English.
Awareness of women’s rights and knowledge of personal rights showed a clear impact on the daily life of migrant and refugee women participating in these creative workshops. It helped to empower them to ask for their rights, to claim their rights – be it with public administrations or within the context of their families. This is a process of many small steps, leading in the right direction.