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Democracy moves: Socio-political participation of refugee women from Ukraine

  • Country: Germany
  • Project Name: Democracy moves: socio-political participation of refugee women from Ukraine
  • Contact person: Maria Grynevych grynevych@elbarlament.org
  • Project duration: September 2022 – March 2023
  • Social media channels: Facebook and Instagram (Ukrainian & English)
  • Project objective: The project aims for refugee women from Ukraine to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about German democracy and it’s political and civil society structures.
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The refugees of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine were primarily women. Since the beginning of the war, family members were often separated from each other. Therefore, especially women have to take on new roles within their families and in society as a whole.  They also have to figure out how to adapt in Germany on a social and personal level. Beyond housing, clothing, and work, they require opportunities to become politically and socially involved in Germany or in Ukraine.

The project therefore intends to offer politically engaged and interested refugee women from Ukraine the chance to learn about German democracy and the related political and civil society structures, both in theory and practice. Throughout the programme, refugee women from Ukraine will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about German democracy and the related political and civil society structures.

The beneficiaries will learn about the German political system and its underlying principles; such as transparency, rule of law, human rights, women’s rights, freedom of the media, and separation of powers. This will support them to orient themselves for future socio-political engagement in Germany – but also in Ukraine or other countries. 

Due to the current situation in Ukraine and the steady influx of refugees from Ukraine to Germany, it is critical to create offers for these socio-politically motivated women as soon as possible, through which they can discuss issues of coexistence and engage in exchanges with one another. 

Project activities:

The programme offers a series of three modular workshops to three groups of Ukrainian female refugees: 

  • The first module focuses on personal development and promotes team building, dialogue and trust within the groups. 
  • The second module provides insights into German politics and civil society perspectives.
  • The third module focuses on political participation opportunities in Germany and specialised knowledge, competences from the field of civic education and soft skills.  

During workshops, participants will explore their own interests and develop a project idea alone or with others. They will learn how to deepen their political, social, or artistic interests and take action. 

Taking action helps trauma survivors overcome passivity and inaction. Ukrainian refugee women will be shown opportunities for civil society or political activity in Germany. The project will give them a space to discuss their experiences and exchange ideas while also encouraging them to remain and become active. It reduces refugee isolation. 

Meanwhile, cultural and artistic activities like storytelling will help women overcome trauma and gain self-confidence. 

The workshops and a networking event will be held in a safe space for the participants.

After the last workshop in the programme plan, all participants will be brought together in an alumni meeting. In this way, the participants can build up a network that will enable them to exchange ideas and plan joint initiatives beyond the duration of the project.

The planned workshops go beyond current offers, such as those provided by the BAMF (integration courses), by imparting political and social knowledge about Germany and laying the groundwork for their own political and civil society participation. The skills taught in the workshops are also intended to help refugee women deal with trauma, and encounter spaces are designed to foster discussion and networking.

“Democracy moves: socio-political participation of refugee women from Ukraine” is funded by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb). 

Concluded, Democracy and Civic Education, Women, Peace and Security