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  Nr. 53 - October 2002
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The Foreign Women’s Network

The Foreign Women's Network (FWN) is a non-profit organisation committed to supporting foreign women based in Greece on employment matters. FWN assists foreign women of all nationalities in learning to contribute actively to Greek society and acts as a medium between foreign women based in Greece and non-government organisations (NGOs), voluntary organisations, government agencies and private enterprise. The FWN inform Greek state agencies, private enterprise and NGOs of the needs, aspirations and potential of the foreign community. But most importantly, it is a platform for networking, mutual support, guidance and inspiration. The information given out through the FWN conferences, workshops and website is intended to equip women to lead a more fulfiling professional life in Greece.

The FWN was founded by Gunhild Guldseth (Norwegian) and Sudha Nair (Indian/French). One of the things that struck them most about living in Greece was the lack of information available to foreign women on employment matters. As a foreign woman, one didn't know where to look or whom to ask. And despite being qualified and multi-lingual, it was tough, if not impossible, to find meaningful employment here.

FWN has built a database of over 5,000 qualified women of over 60 different nationalities offering a wide range of professional and language skills. FWN also has very close and strong links with hundreds of foreign community organizations in Greece. Since its inception in December 2000, FWN has established itself as a serious organization dedicated to meeting its objectives and has earned the respect of the foreign community and the foreign language press as well as Greek state agencies and voluntary organizations.

FWN has successfully organised the following events:

* Conference on career and employment opportunities for foreign women in Greece, French Institute, Athens, May 2001.

* Workshop on foreign women's rights in the Greek labour market (including residence permits, work permits, IKA, AFM, labour laws) at the Goulandris-Horn Foundation, November 2001.

l Workshop on how to set up your own business in Greece (including business ideas and plans, funding from the Greek state and the EU, legal aspects of setting up a business) at the Goulandris-Horn Foundation, November 2001.

* Conference on career and employment opportunities for foreign women in Greece, CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational training), Thessaloniki, February 2002.

* Conference on 'Upgrading Your Skills', OLP Exhibition Hall, Piraeus, March 2002.

The next FWN event is being planned to take place in December in collaboration with the Municipality of Athens. We will keep you informed on the programme and exact dates when details are finalised.

For further information, see www.foreign-womens-network.gr or contact Gunhild Guldseth - Tel: 010 921 4335, Fax: 010 922 1589, email europart@hol.gr.
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