TAWF We are proud to present ourselves as the Tamaynut Amazigh Women Foundation (TAWF) and would like to represent the Amazigh women of Europe within the EFF. With 35 divisions in Morocco and 4 European divisions, Tamaynut is an international Amazigh organisation and the largest one in the world of its kind.
Imazighen are the indigenous people of North-Africa, who are still in discussion for recognition and respect. Throughout Europe there are ethnic communities that are originally from Morocco and Algeria; within those communities you have Imazighen. The Imazighen are most commonly seen as Arabic, however, our language and culture is not Arabic, but a whole different language and culture. The base of the Amazigh culture is feminine; this makes the Amazigh culture very special. You must understand that the discussion for recognition and respect is primarily a male discussion and the Amazigh woman have, unfortunately, been totally forgotten in this discourse despite the fact that women have a very important role in the Amazigh society in general.
Within the Amazigh culture the Amazigh woman have had a rather important role. Freedom of speech and personal development were very important to her and used to be respected, nowadays only our grandmothers can remember this. This has nothing to do with our religion, but with men who adapted themselves to different changes of culture, which has isolated most Amazigh women. Although we are supported by many Amazigh men, who are active in professional Amazigh organisations throughout Europe and North-Africa.
So far there is no representation of Amazigh women in the feminist world as most of the time organisations and people represent us as Arabic women. We hope to make a difference for our group in that our voices will be heard by participating in the EFF. We hope that we are able to change a lot of things in an positive way for our women, such as our social and feministic/sexual status, as well our political situation.
The most important thing we want to discuss is the issue of illiteracy of many Berber/Amazigh women in North-Africa and even in Europe. If our women are well educated, they can gain self-esteem and be of some importance to themselves. They can have a voice of their own. Our organisation has already begun with research in the education area. Another important issue is the social area, because many Amazigh women in the Europe are very isolated in society. Most of the time they are at home and are of no significance, we really want to change that. We have a lot of suggestions and ideas, but we still have to work on those items. We want to use all sources as possible to present our discussions and issues at the EFF.
Tamaynut Amazigh Women Foundation has created groups of women participating for the EFF in The Netherlands, France, Spain and Germany.
We are planning a meeting in June in France and in September in the Netherlands to discuss the position of the Amazigh woman throughout the world. We have an international and national network who can inform us about the female Amazigh situation in North-Africa and Europe. We are also supported by many Amazigh men who are active in Amazigh organisations. We want to begin with a small group of women who have affinity in this matter, so we can grow stronger and be more professional in every way in this quest.
By joining the EFF we see an opportunity to meet women of diverse background and to have our voices heard on issues and concerns affecting migrant women in Europe. Through the EFF, we hope to develop a Migrant Feminist Agenda from the perspective of migrant women together with our European feminist sisters.