The fourth Monthly Meeting of the Heidelberg IWC took place in an April evening and featured the founders of the Heidelberg Women's March, Dr. Kristen Nawrotzki, Melisa Jaenisch and Veronika Froehlich, as our guest speakers.
Around 20 people joined the Meeting to get updates on Club news, to network and to hear the speakers. Vice President Laura Bobanovic opened and led the Meeting and then handed over the spotlight to the three dynamic women.
Kristen, Melisa and Veronika each shared their own story of how they got involved with the Women's March. Kristen, for example, talked about her state of shock at Trump's win for the U.S. Presidency, and they all agreed that while they couldn't attend the Women's March in Washington, D.C., they felt that their home country of Germany needed them to stand up, turn feelings in action and organize their own Women's March in Heidelberg.
Getting going took a lot of work: from getting permission from the city and reaching out to people and marketing the event, to having to change the route due to the large number of people expected to attend.
So, on January 20th, 2017 they walked with close to 1,000 women, men and children from Friedrich-Ebert-Platz to Marktplatz in Heidelberg. Many attendees expressed their gratitude to be able to express their feelings through the march.
In 2018, they organized the 2nd Heidelberg Women's March with around 500 - 800 people attending. They've also helped organized other demonstrations including "Stand with Standing Rock" and "March for Science." They organize a Huddle once a month to keep in touch with women from various organizations who want to talk and raise awareness about different issues affecting women. You can also join the Huddle online through a medium designed for exchange, mentorship and support among local activists. Look for the "Heidelberg Huddle" group on Facebook and ask to join; curiosity is enough, no commitment or expertise required!
Additionally, Melisa has started an initiative to remove gender labels from the public libraries in Heidelberg, which you can follow on Facebook on the page "Stop Genderlabeling of Books at the Heidelberg City Library". While those labeled books still exist, their numbers are decreasing.
After their talk, there was a lively discussion among the guest speakers and the attendees, which concluded around 22:00 that night!
We say a big thank you to Kristen, Melisa and Veronika for joining us and inspiring us to speak up and take action when we want to see change.
Inspired to join the Women's March organizers or just want to stay up to date on their activities? Check out and like their Facebook page @HDWomensMarch or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.