In Our Own Words: Refugee women in Germany tell their stories


Published in 2015, IN OUR OWN WORDS documents the lives and stories of refugee women in Germany, drawing on the Latin American tradition of testimonial literature – looking to amplify the voice of the voiceless.

Violence, specifically violence against women, gender persecution, as well as the ways women find to survive such oppressions, are common themes of the life experiences recorded in this book.

The book contains texts by and about women and includes 10 testimonials of refugee women in Germany: women who could have migrated, but wouldn’t have been given a visa. Women who became refugees in their own regions before attempting to reach Europe by the deadly routes available. Women fleeing war, poverty and environmental disasters caused by corporate greed, women fleeing persecution for not conforming to the gender they were assigned at birth. Women running away from their own families for not accepting domestic violence perpetrated by patriarchy.

The International Women's Space (IWS) is a feminist political group of migrant and refugee women in Germany. IWS challenges dominant knowledge structures and fights against discriminatory policies and practices, which oppose the emancipation of refugee and migrant women and all women. One of IWS’s main demands is the right of women to be granted asylum on specific gender-persecution grounds, without fear of removal or deportation.