By Judy Grosch
In our small Bavarian village we have an open circle for women that meets every second Tuesday evening of the month, The circle was born two years ago at our first International Women’s Day Supper inspired by the Gather the Women website. On that evening after a delightful get-together one of the women said that we should start an open group for women. And so the idea was born.
We call it open because we meet in a restaurant and any woman can come that evening. The participants’ number ranges from 3 to 12. There is no obligation, it is open on all levels. And after two years the open circle still meets.
Now, one may ask what is it that keeps this open group going: First of all, women like the idea of meeting in a public place because this involves no obligation, ditto for the irregular attendance. Secondly, usually we are women coming together who otherwise would have no social contact with one another. So this gathering has turned into a real meeting place. And another important factor is that there is always good and deep conversation taking place. Invariably an interesting and pertinent topic comes up and we talk for two hours, something that most women probably do not often get. Here are a few topics we have discussed: women and the Catholic Church; mothers / older women as role models; the silence that reigned in most households during the Hitler regime; my experiences in the Pine Ridge, Native American settlement, etc. By the by the second International Women’s Day was planned by members of this group ( and not just by myself). Some women even call now to excuse themselves when they cannot come, others inquire about the topic of conversation they missed.
All in all we are very pleased that this group exists. I have come to know women I otherwise would never have met. And that for me is reason enough to attend. This is a real step towards mutual acceptance, peaceful co-existence, so very important in our small community.