Germany, April 2017, THIS COLLECTION OF PRAYERS BY AFRICAN WOMEN AND GIRLS was published by our German member, Maisha African Women and it documents the intimate thoughts, hopes and difficulties of refugee women as they travel towards and in Europe. From fleeing forced marriage and FGM to difficulties in obtaining legal status in Europe, to sex-, race- and religion-stereotyping – these are the private prayers of women and girls, looking to be understood.
“Merciful God, there is a stereotype of women of my religion that seems to dominate the Western media, as weak-willed and submissive and always likely to be veiled. Some even say we do not have opinions of our own and worse, we cannot express these opinions in the presence of men. I am angry at these portrayals, as I had my own business and was never known to without an opinion, as were many other women that I knew. Please help us to be understood Merciful God, and give us the ability to counteract these false images without our arguments or discussions being seen as religious. Help others to realise Merciful God, that like women everywhere we can be different and have similar hopes, ambitions and dreams for ourselves and our families.“