Currently when people talk about feminism and feminist, there are two versions. The first is the real one and the second is the version of machismo and / or patriarchy.
I am going to tell you about the true version of feminism, what most feminists do, they create ties and from these ties good initiatives arise.
Yes we are in favor of the decriminalization of abortion, yes we go out to march, but it is not all we do.
We migrants and feminists in a German-speaking country have several questions that range in different topics.
How do I continue with my feminism from where I live? Do I always have to go to the capital to be able to contribute something? How can I help violated people? How can I find the people who need help or how will I find them? For reasons of fate and the internet in 2019 we came together.
Who are we?
We are a group of Spanish-speaking feminists from different origins and from different perspectives, but with the same objective. We want to make ourselves heard, to assert our rights and to help other women. It is not that we are going to deny aid to men, but it is simple, it is not our objective, of course if it is in our hands we will help them.
It should be noted that we are in Bavaria in the franconia region in the cities Nürnberg, Fürth and Erlangen. Apparently if they are anywhere else in Germany, the advice can be done via telephone or online.
How can I get help in a foreign country and with another language?
We asked ourselves this question individually when we came to live in Germany. Some of us arrived well prepared with previous knowledge of the language or culture, some of us arrived a long time ago, but not all migrants are fortunate.
It is impressive the number of Spanish speakers who are in Germany and most of them don’t know the language (German). This is a disadvantage if you are in trouble, because in most German dependencies they only speak their official language even if the worker understands another language.
In some cases speaking English works but not always, and this is not a problem in Germany. If we think in our countries of origin the same thing happens, in the government agencies they only speak Spanish and hopefully a little English.
As I have already said we are a varied group, so we call ourselves the Feminist Intersectional Collective. We are women of different ages, civic status, beliefs, traditions, countries, level of studies (we all have a career and many of us continue to train academically, although if any girl identifies with our language and has no studies, she is welcome). Based on respect, the group is made up of Vanina, Nora, Claudia, Vanesa, Andrea, Belén, Elisabeth and her servant Arandy.
Ready to help
When we help a particular person, we create a WhatsApp group called Femi-AIDS. In this group we talk about everything related to the case and only those who can help at the moment enter.
Why? Very simple, we all have other occupations, if we do this in our free time and not for profit, we even put money out of our pocket if necessary.
We do not lend money or make donations, this to put money, it is very simple you have to make transfers, calls, eat out, everything to make the aid more effective. At the end of the aid, the group is eliminated and another one is created again when we attend to someone else.
So, they will ask themselves, what does their social work consist of, if they do not give accommodation or anything monetary? Well it’s a very good question.
When we sat down to talk about it, we started with the idea of giving advice on daily life to new migrants. Where to get food from our countries, how to get around in the region and country, perhaps some useful phrases in German, a list of doctors and services (police, fire, German courses …).
How the ticket machines work, even where there are shows and social circles, which we continue to do but sometimes there are extremely serious emergency situations, such as violent women, divorces, immigration irregularities.
Although we have relatively little, we have already had several cases, we are not an organization, but we are organized.
We currently have contact with various organizations that can provide advice, such as COFIZA, CARITAS, THE RED CROSS, and we even have a good advice for migrants in Leipzig to which we are very grateful. We also know the other institutions in the region, however we have not made the contact directly.
When a woman comes to us she can be calm, we are not going to force her to do anything, nor to judge or criticise her.
Obviously we have our limits, if the violated person attacks us and minimizes our support, no matter how much our hearts break, we stop our work.
Always waiting for you to find another way and get out of trouble. And this is not because we want to be praised, simply all work (in this case our help) deserves respect.
The objective of this small article is to make us known so that more women reach us, not that readers send us congratulatory letters.
Exemplify the work
To exemplify our work, I am going to count several of the cases that we have taken, without making the names public for reasons of safety and respect.
A Mexican woman arrives in a small town near Nürnberg and finds me through a Facebook group. The girl has been in Germany for seven months, without speaking the language, without a prior visa, pregnant with her German boyfriend. His family does not want her at home and he is aggressive when drinking.
Well here we proceeded in the following way: telephone contact only, the transfer will only be made in case she is in physical danger, this because of the costs and the difficulty of mobilization to that place is only reached by car.
She has learned about German law and an audio that she sent has been translated. She has learned about the best manner to proceed regarding her status and her future. This is a current case.
But we also achieved that a girl who arrived with tourist status and later had an irregular status, managed to attend school. We won a divorce settlement and the payment of the trial this with the help of an excellent family lawyer, with whom we will continue working.
A voice for women
We are always doing translations, writing documents and filling out forms, amongst many other things. We accompany the person to the appointments, being more than an interpreter since we are not only going to say literally, but we dialogue and look for alternative solutions and options.
Before appointments to organizations we always prepare based on laws, we give emotional and psychological support. The person is always free to choose what he wants to do and we will respect his decisions.
We are always open to include others, if you are a feminist and you are in our region we invite you to our group. This is what a feminist is interested in, giving women a voice no matter where we are. Above all, being a woman is not a disadvantage.