13 December 2016

WoW - With or Without Empowering women through employment

Nour Elagbar has one wish: that German employers don’t focus on the applicant’s religion or clothing, but rather concentrate on the applicant’s professional training and abilities.” Elagbar, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Germany not too long ago, is one of the many women that attended WoW’s Job Ready Program, a six-month seminar and workshop series that prepares women with Muslim migration background for the German job market. She is also one of the many women that after completing a full unit of the Job Ready Program ventured onto language and integration courses.


In its first year of implementation, WoW has exceeded all expectations. Not only has it assisted women like Nour in accessing the German employment sector, it also established important relations with government agencies such as the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Economics and Finance, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Employment Agency, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Women’s Council, and the Stuttgart Job Center.


As part of the I Pledge Campaign, which is an outreach program to employers to create dialogue on the topic of women with Muslim migration background in the German employment sector, WoW organized a lecture and discussion on the employment integration of women with Muslim migration background in celebration of the Fourth Annual Diversity Day and held a seminar on the topic ‘Changing perspective: Seeing the world through Muslim eyes.’


Besides creating initial contact with German employers, WoW also addressed the German public through its WithorWithout Campaign. The WithorWithout Campaign is an online and offline campaign to raise awareness about the challenges of women with Muslim migration background in the employment sector. WoW implemented various actions in this regard, most notably a works in progress knowledge game on ‘Islam and Muslims in Germany’.


WoW received generous media attention in its first year of implementation. Upon winning the Global Diversity Contest sponsored by the UNHATE Foundation and United Nations Academic Impact, the project director (Lara-Zuzan Golesorkhi) gave interviews for the German Press Agency, the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, and the Inter Press Service Agency. Golesorkhi was invited to a dinner discussion with German chancellor Angela Merkel and other government representatives during the UN General Assembly 2015. As part of the announcement of the winners of the Global Diversity Contest, Golesorkhi presented the WoW project at the United Nations. Upon implementation of the project in Stuttgart, Germany, local and regional newspapers reported about the project.


With the third place finish in an international competition by the Zahnraeder Netzwerk, a network platform for start-ups by young Muslim entrepreneurs, WoW will receive marketing and financing consultancy for the second year of implementation. The generous financial award by the UNHATE Foundation for the first year implementation enabled WoW to get off the ground and significantly contributed to its success. Due to this great success, WoW seeks to expand in the future and is currently in search for further funding.


For more information, please visit our website www.wow-withorwithout.com, find us on Facebook (WoW - With or Without) or contact us at infowow2015@gmail.com


Video to embed: UNAI & UNHate Foundation Diversity Contest 2015 - https://youtu.be/IIAr3q9QM48