Name of organization/institution:
Type of structure:
The association named Verein Amazone, which started with a practical project for girls, has turned into a central facility for gender work from girls’ perspective in Vorarlberg and beyond the national borders. The realization of the core work areas vocational training, health, violence, culture, multimedia, work, politics, and sexuality is carried out with a feminist mindset using access to education and promotion in the three columns of activity:
the Girls’ Centre (Mädchenzentrum Amazone) with homogeneous gender offers and services such as a café, workshop, rehearsal room or Girls4Girls activities for girls between 10 and 18, the Guidance Service for girls and young women and their parents or guardians as well as
the Special Gender Department, which offers measures for the deconstruction of gender role models with and for girls, boys, adults, institutions, and the entire public.
Age of participants:
Between 10 and 18 years old
The Girls’ Centre named Mädchenzentrum Amazone is a youth center for girls only! Girls between 10 and 18 can experiment in the workshop, get information about their future profession in the communication room and surf on the Internet, develop pictures in the dark room, play table top football, relax in the café and listen to music, romp about in the exercise room, have sound sessions in the rehearsal room, talk about problems in the South Seas room and much more during opening hours. In addition to numerous workshops and events, there are many activities in the Girls’ Centre, which the girls organize themselves: video sessions, birthday parties, sleepovers, dances, and board games in the afternoon and much more.
Practical arrangements used:
Workshops, internet area, AmazoneBar (indoor and mobile cocktail bar for events), girls media check station, rehearsal room…
The initiative of a group of girls led to the establishment of the association in 1998 under the name “Kecke Quecke” by setting up the first Girls’ Centre in Vorarlberg and was renamed Mädchenzentrum Amazone in 2001 by the visitors at the Girls’ Centre. Although main focus was on feminist girls’ work of women and girls for girls during the first few years, the Amazone association has been focusing on the development of gender equitable work for the creation of gender equality since 2011, with the objective of also strengthening girls in mixed-gender contexts and to continue consolidating girls’ work with other gender-educational approaches. This expansion of the fields of activity called for a corresponding organizational development. The realization of the core work areas vocational training, health, violence, culture, multimedia, work, politics and sexuality is carried out with a feminist mindset using access to education and promotion in the three columns of activity:
Girls’ Centre (Mädchenzentrum Amazone), Guidance Service and Special Gender Department
There is a lack of sufficient structural promotion. The insufficient structural coverage is still being compensated for through high organizational and project management costs. And, the staff members of the Verein Amazone association are battling with a great uncertainty of their employment. A lack of funding should not be the reason for failing to provide promotion and support for girls. A continuous provision of respective funds is required, to couple girls’ work with youth work and to ensure it on a permanent basis, in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of funds.
The main focus is on feminist girls’ work of women and girls for girls. Also, the Verein Amazone association is focusing on the development of gender equitable work for the creation of gender equality, with the objective of also strengthening girls in mixed-gender contexts and to continue consolidating girls’ work with other gender-educational approaches.
Impacts on youngsters:
In the protected area of the Girls’ Centre the young visitors learn a lot about their talents and become much stronger in mixed-gender contexts.
Impacts on the organization:
The interlacing of practical projects with offers for qualification and further education in the Verein Amazone association enables access, which emanates from the girls and their living environments. The Peer education or the Peer to Peer approach still has an effect on all activities in the association. The girls are the key members!
The youngsters get the ball rolling and with the help of the association’s know-how, a structure is developed, to pursue the vision of a gender equitable world together. The association, which started with a practical project for girls, has turned into a central facility for gender work from girls’ perspective in Vorarlberg and beyond the national borders
Partners: Politics (communal, regional, EU-wide), Companies, Public Employment Service (AMS)
Web link with the activity:
6900 Bregenz, Austria
Mag.a Amanda Ruf, MA