European Women between Tradition and Transition
Transnational meeting in Nicosia
May 7-10, 2009

University of Nicosia, Department of Education, Nicosia, Cyprus
Panayiotis Angelides

Organizers and teachers from
Casa de la Cultura, Getafe, Spain
CIDF Phocéen, Marseille, France
Dayhighschool for Migrant Women, Copenhagen, Denmark
Women’s Academy Ulm, Germany
Students from Germany and France
Unfortunately Funda from Turkey could not come to the final meeting because of visa problems.
Contents of the final meeting
Presentation of the participants
Approval of the agenda
Latest news from the coordinator
The domestic situation
The homepage and folder
Final Feed-Back
Sustainability - Ideas for the future
Supporting programme
Visit to the International school with Kakia
Presentation of the Outdoors Environmental Project for the Service of Peace »Women in Action« 2007 by Lucy
Presentation of »Cyprus and Gender Policies« by Despina Charalambidou-Solomi

Final Feed-Back
The outcome and evaluation of this learning partnership was very successful especially for the experience of intercultural dialogue.
Group consistancy: Right from the very first meeting in Ulm/Germany all partners tried to take ownership of the project. It was agreed that the group of organisers should be consisting and that the group of students could vary in size and participants.
Conflict solving: Because of the different practises and experiences of the partners it took some time to overcome misunderstandings and to reach a level of confidence and efficient cooperation and personal friendships. This process was fueld by a common attitude among the participating women: the will to express disagreements, to pay attention to the others opinion and to find ways out.
Common goal: The planned travelling exhibition helped as a common goal and motivated organizers and students “to get things done”. Public presentations of the exhibition with a variety of different art objects served as a common achievement, something to be proud of.
Email contacts: Communication between meetings was organized by email. In the beginning frequency and reliability of email contacts was not equal and sometimes caused frustration especially for the hosts of transnational meetings. In the end all partners except Cyprus have established very close and reliable contacts and are well informed about the domestic situations.
Inclusion of the students: During the transnational meetings national groups needed to get enough time for translations and internal discussions in their mother tongue so that all participants could express their needs and opinions.
Parallel to the organizers sessions which were part of every agenda there needed to be workshops on offer for the students, prefarably with non-verbal activities like crafts, cooking, gymnastics etc.
Women’s rights: In most countries the host of a transnational meeting prepared a presentation of the situation of women, women’s rights and gender politics in the host country. In Spain, France and Cyprus representatives of the local authorities or experts for gender topics came for presentations and discussions about their strategies.
For sustainability of the good collaboration most partners agreed upon further activities beyond the official end of the project. Planned for 2010-2012: Presentation of the exhibition and Grundtvig International Workshops once a year in Germany, Denmark, France, Spain and Turkey.
Only women: This project focuses on women as actors and beneficiaries.





The openness and intimacy that women showed when talking about their grandmothers, mothers, daughters and themselves was possible only in a protected space. Most women (especially migrant women) had to overcome inner barriers when reflecting and talking about their life concepts. It became obvious that the presence of men interfered with this process. Therefore men could not participate in the meetings. This decision turned out to be very important for the process of the project.  
This is no contradiction to the European strategy of Gender Mainstreaming (Amsterdam Treaty 1997), a double strategy including both: equal opportunities for men and women and also specific activities for women as long as structural disadvantages are still evident. The programs of all institutions aim explicitly at gender equality in a broad sense.
At the end of the project statements of students about what they gained in the project were collected in all countries. Some statements from
“I had the opportunity to share very good moments with other European women who came to Getafe.I used English to communicate with them and I could show them things about our place and about our traditions”.
“I had the opportunity of asking my mother about her life. I was really touched when she was talking about such a difficult life as a woman after the Civil War”.
“Thanks to this project I have had to think about myself as a woman. I learned a lot looking into my feelings”
and from
“The word integration gets another meaning. I feel less German and more European. I become more interested in the life-stories of migrant families living in my neighbourhood. Tolerance is a key-word for me.”