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our approaches

At New Women Connectors, our unique approaches - meaningful participation, leading resilience and feminist leadership - underpin every facet of our work, elevating our impact and fostering meaningful change. We inform, convene and train policymakers and community leaders to create meaningful participation mechanisms that are inclusive, engaging and intersectional

meaningful participation

Current participatory mechanisms have a power dynamic that is usually a TOP-DOWN, service provision, hierarchical dynamic, which occasionally has space to hear selective and invited voices. However, without a true shift in power relations, transformation in spaces provided, and the design of the participatory mechanism, we will not reach active and meaningful participation.
 

Until policy and even humanitarian aid move from a service provider approach to a truly democratic process, and power relations shift from a TOP-DOWN to an infinite and continuous power share, and until migrants and refugees turn from "clients, users or beneficiaries" to true partners, we will not reach active and meaningful participation.

Active and meaningful participation is not a readily available solution that fits all. It is a combination of awareness, willingness to challenge the status quo, and long-term commitment to change by all stakeholders and parties involved, whether it be institutions, organizations, civil society organizations, and migrant communities.  

New Women Connectors, based on the lived experience of its members and research conducted on the topic, has created a tailor-made training, which can provide a holistic approach to meaningful participation. Our model includes mechanisms to shift attitudes, spaces, and power relations.

 

Through our 'Meaningful Participation' approach, we train both community leaders and policy makers in effective engagement and community involvement. Our training efforts extend from local municipalities to EU institutions, shaping a more informed and inclusive policy landscape.

For more information about our meaningful participation approach, watch the video of our Berlin Refugee Summit, which we co-created with the participants in Berlin in 2022:                                                    Or check out our brochure on meaningful participation:          

Leading resilience

'Success stories are often used by organizations and companies, less as inspiration but rather as excuses not to change the system – arguing that if some refugee women succeeded in the present system, so should everyone else. These stories should be told by the people who live them, to avoid tokenism and make use of the stories to change the system and create new and inclusive structures.' - Prof. Halleh Ghorashi.

​Leading Resilience means equipping community leaders from diverse and often marginalized backgrounds—encompassing all genders, ethnicities, and statuses—with the skills and platforms necessary for meaningful participation in shaping policies that impact their lives. By focusing on resilience, we spotlight the strength, creativity, and knowledge inherent in these communities, challenging the narrative that views them solely as victims or passive recipients of aid. This approach not only amplifies their ability to navigate and influence systemic barriers but also fosters a culture where their lived experiences and insights drive systemic change. Through workshops, seminars, education and advocacy training, we are building a coalition of leaders who are redefining resilience by actively engaging in policy dialogues, thereby transforming how their stories are told and heard.

 

By ensuring that these voices are not only included but prioritized in policy-making, we confront and challenge the power structures that have historically marginalized them. This shift towards a more inclusive approach to policy development recognizes the expertise and authority of those directly affected by policies, moving beyond tokenism to genuine partnership and co-creation.

FEMINIST LEADERSHIP

Our commitment to intersectional feminist leadership underlines a profound dedication to shaping policies that are not only equitable but deeply informed by the myriad experiences and perspectives of marginalized communities. This approach recognizes the complex realities faced by individuals at the intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and migration status, ensuring that policy-making is both inclusive and responsive to their specific needs. By prioritizing gender and LGBTI mainstreaming within the context of migration, we advocate for policies that transcend traditional frameworks, acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges and barriers these groups encounter.

 

Embracing intersectional feminist leadership means actively dismantling the power imbalances that pervade policy-making processes, advocating for a systemic transformation that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. This involves creating spaces where the voices of those most affected by policies are not only heard but are integral to the decision-making process. Through this lens, we work to foster an environment where policies are co-created with the communities they aim to serve, ensuring that the principles of justice and equality are embedded in every aspect of our work. This approach not only enriches the policy-making landscape but also sets a standard for how inclusive, representative governance can and should be achieved, marking a significant stride towards a more just and equitable society.

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