This project tells the stories of women who live in the capital cities of Europe. It started out of curiosity: as a resident of Amsterdam I’ve always wondered if the lives of other European women would resemble mine. Are we facing the same difficulties, or does every city and every woman have her own problems?

I’ve talked with women from 14 to 94 because I believe women of all ages have something interesting to share. What are their struggles in life? What gives them joy? What do they regret? Maybe their personal experiences led to big universal insights that might be of help to others. Wouldn’t it be interesting if a woman in Paris has learned the same life lesson as a woman in Bucharest? Or if a 22 year old in Amsterdam learns from the experiences of a 70 year old in Oslo? Let’s see what happens…

Of course this isn’t a scientific research. I only interview about seven women in every capital city. I can’t promise that every age group, social class, ethnic background or marital status has been covered. I would need ten more lives to do that! More than anything these stories are individual stories from ordinary women who happen to live in Europe. In a world where we mostly read about famous people or people who experienced something extraordinary, I wanted to give attention to women who just live their everyday lives. (Although they all turned out to be extraordinary in their own way!)

The women who participated in this project all have one thing in common: they are brave enough to open up about their deepest feelings. Showing your true self can feel vulnerable, so a big shout out to all these amazing ladies!

I hope that we will learn from each other’s mistakes, remember each other’s life lessons, and admire each other’s openness. And that it helps us to feel interconnected in some way.

Mariska – Founder Women of Europe


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