Frauenrat für Tschetschenische Flüchtlinge

1,000 Euro Prize 2011

Country: Austria

Region: Vienna

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Adult education, Family, Gender equality

Project owner: Österreichisch Kaukasiche Gesellschaft

Responsible person: Fr. MA Dums Nataliya

What is it about?

The approx. 15,000 women and girls from Chechnya now resident in Vienna in particular can contact experts and mother-tongue Chechen speakers if they have any questions about the education system or family problems. The target group were mostly already familiar with the concept of the ‘Frauenrat’ (women’s council) from their homelands and the advisors are now drawing upon their backgrounds and knowledge of the Chechen tradition to enlighten women in female issues and reinforce the self-confidence of women from their area of the world. They are reaching out to women from Chechnya and can show them the way to other social and educational possibilities. Workshops on issues such as young marriages and bridal abduction are also held in Vienna, Styria and Mödling to complete this range of personal advice on offer.

Appreciation of the Jury

These female advisors are using advice sessions, home visits, workshops and their status as role models to show Chechen women and girls how discriminatory perceptions of the role of women can hinder their development and progression in Austrian society. The Chechen ‘Frauenrat’ (women’s council) are drawing on a trusted and respected term from the women’s former homelands and incorporating elements of Chechen tradition in order to guide these Chechen women in their new lives and help them understand Austrian laws and customs. Motivated women tackling female issues within their own ethnic background – a beneficial mix which will hopefully become more widespread.