For the first time werkgruppe2 publishes a research for listening. In a podcast series we interview experts in Ireland, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Namibia, the USA and Japan. The podcasts are created in collaboration with DEINE KORRESPONDENTIN, a online magazine and network of freelance journalists from all over the world.
How is the right to abortion currently regulated in these ten countries? What does the practical implementation look like, where are the barriers, ambiguities and the need for action? Who are the feminist activists and what are they fighting for? Where is resistance? How does the right to abortion correspond with other social movements?



An astonishing turn occurred in Ireland in 2018. In the strongly Catholic country, the ban on abortions was refused by referendum and has been legal up to the 12th week of pregnancy since then. We speak to author and journalist Una Mullally, who edited REPEAL THE 8TH ANTHOLOGY, a collection of writings, poems and photographs that captured the force of the campaign for reproductive rights in the country in 2018. She is a columnist for The Irish Times. Also joining from Ireland is the German foreign correspondent and journalist Mareike Graepel of the network DEINE KORRESPONDENTIN. "Once you break the silence, you kind of break the stigma and once you break the stigma, you kind of break the shame.“ (Una Mullally)


In our second episode, we will be talking about Sri Lanka. Our guest is Sonali Gunasekera, director for advocacy at the Family Planning Association in Sri Lanka. Sonali has a wealth of experience working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Child Protection and Gender and Advocacy related activities. Previously she worked at the Child Fund Sri Lanka, Oxfam GB Sri Lanka, the International Labour Organisation and Save the Children Sri Lanka and is joining us from Colombo. Also with us in Mumbai is South Asia correspondent and author, Natalie Mayroth, from the network Deine Korrespondentin. The abortion laws on the island are among the most restrictive in the world and have not been changed since the colonial area. According to estimates, hundreds of women a day take risks with illegal terminations due of lack of access to professional assistance or money. "Sri Lanka is not ready for the change....Women have to look after their own bodies.“ (Sonali Gunasekera)


In this episode of CHOICE we are focussing on abortion rights in Colombia. We are talking to Mónica Roa, a Colombian Lawyer for Human Rights. She is founder and director of the organization BRIDGES and has been working for Women’s Link Worldwide for more than 12 years. In 2006 she became a public figure when she filed a constitutional lawsuit that resulted in the liberalization of abortion laws in Colombia. Our second guest is Franziska Pröll - a freelance german Journalist that – during the last year - has been reporting from Colombia on social an educational topics, amongst others for or the german newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and ZEIT online. „Reproductive rights means that YOU are the one that gets to decide if you want to use contraceptives, if you want an abortion or if you want to have a child. And the state cannot impose that decision on you. During those years of conflict women within the guerrilla were being forced to have abortions, women outside the guerrilla in urban life were being prohibited to have an abortion - in both cases the state was not protecting or respecting our reproductive rights.“ (Mónica Roa)


This episode is about abortion rights and political protest in Poland. The idea for this podcast series came about under the impression of the strong protests in Poland in autumn 2021 against the tightening of the already restrictive legislation on abortion. Only since 1993 abortion is mostly ban and this happened during the change of social system, which promised more liberal rights and gave the hope of freedom. Now in 2020/21 the amount of protesting women (but also men) in autumn was very impressive. We want to know: how did they manage to mobilize so many people? We talk to Karolina Micula, a musican, performer and activist, who chooses many different forms of protesting (and is pictured on the front page of the podcasts’ website). Our second guest is Terry Reintke, member of the European Parliament for the Green Group since 2014 and currently also its Vice President. She demands that the EU intervenes in Polish breaches of fundamental rights and supports the Polish activists by saying „Your struggle is our struggle.“


In the episode we want to talk about the right of self-determination over the body and what it looks like in the Netherlands, how the continuation of the current liberalization can be guaranteed and what future goals could be. Our guests are Devika Partiman, a social activist that has founded the STEM OP EEN VROUW foundation, which aims to get more women into political positions. Also with us is Sarah Tekath, journalist, based in Amsterdam since 2014. She works for different medias like euronews, FAZ, neues deutschland and is the podcast host AMSTERDAMES and member of the network DEINE KORRESPONDENTIN. “Shouldn’t we not be patient, shouldn’t we not be happy with that we have? There is still be a big lack of understanding. I think the educational system still does not explain why the feminist movement was there. They tell pupils, women were not allowed ot vote, they were not allowed to go to school. But they don’t learn the mechanics of the discriminating system. How all the details are go to show their faces everywhere you go.” (Devika Partiman)​


In Namibia the abortion law is very strictly regulated – but last year in July a young, committed movement of activists started a petition that caused quite a stir. In our new episode we talk to Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe, a Namibian activist, who has been at the forefront of the #ShutItAllDown Movement and the equal rights protests in Windhoek. She is also the co-founder of the Voices and Choices for Rights Coalition which started the petition to legalise abortion in Namibia. Also with us is multimedia journalist Lisa Ossenbrink. She reports on people, power and populism from Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa and has been published by Al Jazeera English, VICE World News and Deutsche Welle. She is a member of the network DEINE KORRESPONDENTIN. "Silence is also another tool of power and that is because silence can also maintain the power systems that continue to subjugate and even remove the agency of adolescent girls, young women and gender diverse persons. There is definitely a culture of secrecy, of silence in our country.“ (Ndiilokelwa Nthengwe)


werkgruppe2 has been developing documentary storytelling projects for over 10 years, often theater productions or film projects. Based on extensive journalistic research, they create atmospheric and narrative formats that explore the boundaries between documentation and fiction. Always asking questions about what documentation means, how reality is depicted and how can people speak and feel on behalf of people?

Most recently they worked on topics as the social decline of women in working-class families, weight discrimination and the hospital murders in Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.

werkgruppe2 are the director Julia Roesler, musician and composer Insa Rudolph, videographer Isabel Robson and dramaturge Silke Merzhäuser.



Fotos: Titel, Piotr Jaxa; Irland, Mareike Graepel; Sri Lanka, Isabel Robson; Colombia, Insa Rudolph; Poland, Silke Merzhäuser; Netherlands, Sarah Tekath; Namibia, Lisa Ossenbrink

Impressum / Datenschutz