African Women’s Organization in Vienna
The African Women’s Organization in Vienna is a non-governmental organization established in 1996 by African women from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and other African countries. Membership is open to all interested in the welfare of women. It works jointly with other non-governmental organizations as well as government agencies and offices involved with the welfare of women and immigrants.
Objectives of the Organization
The main objectives of the Organization include:
Creating awareness and appreciation of the various political, economic, social and traditional problems women face in different societies;
Creating and promoting understanding and accommodation among different cultures and societies in the community;
Assisting and providing consultancy in the integration of immigrant women.
Promotion of good and beneficial cultures and traditions.
Campaigning against harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children.
Integration and promotion of culture:
The Organization carries out cultural exchanges, traditional shows, exhibitions, seminars, discussions to implement this programme.
Campaign against harmful traditional practices:
Since 1998 the campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) became the organization’s area of priority. Its aim is through awareness and change of values prevent its practice among immigrant population originating from FGM risk countries.
Updating the status of FGM practice among immigrants in Austria.
Creating awareness and understanding of the nature and magnitude of the problem both among the local community and immigrants. It is a continuous and target specific exercise and addresses various aspects of FGM: origin and justification, health and medical consequences, political, legal, social and cultural aspects.
Provide information and resource material to students, researchers and media people.
Provide consultation to FGM victims.
Prepare an FGM training aid kit and train trainers.
Strengthen communication and cooperation with FGM European network.
Membership and cooperation
The African Women’s Organization is a sector of the Inter-African Committee and its representative in Austria. It is a member of the European FGM Network. In the past, A.W.O. has also, in partnership with RISK (Sweden) and VON (the Netherlands), run a EU Daphne funded project.