Our international organisation is an informal and friendly way to meet other women of all ages and backgrounds through a rich variety of activities including business lunches, discovery visits to places of interest in the city and surrounding areas, sports and cultural groups, charity support work, and regular get togethers.
Imagine you have just arrived from overseas or elsewhere in Germany to live in Berlin for the first time. You don’t know where to live, how to find a job, how to find a quality school for your children, or a good doctor or dentist. You have no community in Berlin, and perhaps you don’t speak much German. We wish to be the perfect community for you. Or maybe you’ve lived in Berlin for years — and simply enjoy meeting people from around the world. We offer you a community to meet women of all backgrounds. Our members represent more than 45 different nationalities.
Our Executive Committee
Welcome to our new Executive Committee 2022-2023. We wish you good luck for the upcoming year!
The Executive Committee consists of nine members who are responsible for the running of the Club. They are elected once a year, normally at the spring Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year’s nine members truly reflect the internationality of our Club: Inga is from Lithuania, Diana comes from Peru, Sue is from the UK, Jo Anne from the USA, Viola is German, Cristina is Greek, Yvonne was born in Germany but also has the Iranian nationality, and Agata and Caroline are from Poland.
30th Anniversary Celebration
How much we had to celebrate—and what a celebration it was! Five years ago, at the Club’s 25th anniversary party, when we looked ahead to challenges of the coming years, [...]
News from the EC, August 2022
Our Club's Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in May 2022, and we welcome new members to our team on the Executive Committee (EC). During our EC meetings, we discussed [...]
News from the Executive Committee, September 2021
Dear ladies, Our new EC has been active for four weeks and we are enjoying working as a team. During the first Newsletter distribution we faced a technical server’s problem [...]
A very ordinary event took place in Berlin in late 1991. Two British women started talking while browsing in the same shop and decided to get to know each other better over a cup of tea. From that everyday occurrence, the BIWC was born. Debra Engler and Sharon Müller realised they shared the idea that Berlin needed an open international Club where women coming to the city from anywhere in the world could find a welcoming environment, using English as a common language. This was a unique idea at that time as the city’s existing women’s Clubs were aligned to specific nationalities.
At the time, Dr. Elisabeth Binder wrote in one of Berlin’s prominent newspapers Der Tagesspiegel:
The international community of the city is growing. But how do they find and get to know each other? As is so often the case, women have taken the lead. In this respect the Berlin International Women’s Club is one of the most successful organisations.
They discussed the idea with acquaintances and soon a small gathering of enthusiastic women in a Charlottenburg Kneipe persuaded the pair that their idea was a good one. The word spread and at the first meeting in April 1992 at a friend’s house, over 80 people turned up. The Club was founded. In October 1992, at what became the first Annual General Meeting, thirty-two members met and passed a resolution to officially register the Club in accordance with German Club laws. The following month, it registered its 100th member.
The Club has since created international connections and is a member of the Open-Door Association which cultivates friendships with over 60 International Women’s Associations world-wide. This enables BIWC members to promote, further cultural exchanges and to cultivate friendships. A BIWC associate member scheme allows those members who move away from Berlin to remain in contact with the club and its activities.
In 1997, the Club, which is non-political and non-profit making, was granted charitable status by the Berlin authorities.
Approaching 30 years …
The BIWC will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2022 and its membership of approximately 200 women continues to offer a friendly and enriching environment for newcomers. If Berlin is your long-term home or you are here on a temporary basis, you will be warmly welcomed. Do come along to one of our monthly Meet & Greets to find out more about us and our activities.
Club Motto and Logo
The Club motto Come and Share Our World was first used in 1994. The Club logo, the Gold Else, which can be found on the top of Berlin’s Siegessäule (statue of the Victoria) was chosen as a symbol of international, strong, creative and positive women from diverse walks of life.
Meet our members
The BIWC and Brigitte Jaeger have had an on-off relationship – since 2002! She says, there were times when I was more active. I even served on the Executive Committee at one point, and times when I hardly went to any events. I also left the Club twice, mostly due to work-related reasons, such as moving away from Berlin on a job assignment or too little time to even join evening events. But things change, and I find myself with loads of time on my hands, even during the day. The wish to rejoin has grown over the last couple of months, mainly because I am still in touch with some members who have also become friends. And now, I have not only met ‘old’ friends again, but have also become friends with some new wonderful members of the Club. I really am looking forward to all the future events and the time when we can meet again in person.
Member Lorena Fa-Everatt extensive travel career, including a spell in Frankfurt as an au pair, gave her plenty of new skills which come in useful now she is permanently settled in Berlin with her partner Craig and young step-son, Scott. As well as working in a pharma company, Lorena is also an aromatherapy advisor, having discovered that essential oils cured her own skin problems. She is studying for a specialisation in feminine health. She joined BIWC in May 2019 and in 2020/21 she was the Vice Social Events Coordinator.
Zeenat is Australian of Pakistani origin. She joined the Club in 2010, soon after moving to Berlin. The Club has given her the opportunity to meet women from different cultures and has helped her in getting to know Berlin. Zeenat enjoys attending the reading groups, business lunch and kool kiez whereby we explore different districts of Berlin. Zeenat left the Club for two years as she was working full time but rejoined in 2019, as she found that the Club is a great way to expand her circle of friends and to meet like-minded women. Moreover, it is great way not to feel alone as you meet other women who are experiencing the same issues as they navigate through this wonderful city. She served as membership secretary from 2015-2017, and in 2019 she was vice president of the Club. She was motivated to volunteer for this position as it was an opportunity to give something back to Club that has been a very comforting place to make new friends.
Lucy returned to Berlin in May 1991 after having spent the summer 1990 in the city between her 3rd and 4th years at university. Two weeks after graduation, she was on the plane and has never looked back! She became a member in 1994, after hearing about the BIWC at the farewell activities for the US military base. Sue Williams, membership secretary at the time, was there promoting the BIWC and Lucy thought it sounded like an interesting Club to join. Although she was already established in Berlin and not actively seeking contact to the international community, she says the Club did provide a wonderful opportunity to meet women from around the world.