OK guys… sorry to get all stereotypical this week, but today is all about us ladies I’m afraid. No particular reason, but I have been accused of a tendency to geekiness in recent columns – yes, I know shocking! I wanted to get back to the idea of the internet and social media being basically all about communication and connection first and foremost. It doesn’t matter what gear you are using, as we keep telling you fellas what matters is what you do with it – and there are lots of women doing amazing things for their female friends and others online.
Last few stereotypical generalisations for this week: In my experience women are especially good at making connections, both between one another and between the online and offline world. When women arrive in a new place as expats, they typically have the most urgent needs that connect them with other women the world over – finding out about matters related to schooling, health, family concerns. Such themes are universal and cross-cultural, and give new contacts something in common to focus upon immediately. In business, women are often very focussed on collaboration and relationship-building – the online space offers so many opportunities for this kind of connecting.
It’s no wonder then that a broad range of excellent online resources have arisen, provided by and used by women across Spain. I know that personally some very rich friendships have come about with people I first ‘met’ online, and for expats reaching across the miles there are some excellent networks you might find helpful. Check these out…
First of all on our doorstep, http://www.cbwomen.com/ is all about local women on the Costa Blanca. It is a monthly magazine, running on a calendar of exciting and imaginative themes, exploring issues that cross the lives of all women – relationships, gifts, communications, and so on. The editor is a great support to grassroots initiatives local women are pioneering, and it’s a fascinating glimpse into some of the interesting things going on in our region. In addition to the mailing list and website they also run a monthly lunch club, which is a great way to meet new people.
http://mumabroad.com/ has contributions and content from all overSpain, it has a large amount of information particularly about clubs and activities for children. It appears that some of the information about the towns I know is either out of date or inaccurate, I don’t know how well it is checked before being posted to the site, but it would be a good starting point for finding out about new resources in any area, and there are a lot of interviews with women from all over Spain that make fascinating reading
Women in Spain
http://www.womeninspain.com Looks at first like a lifestyle-oriented site, with lots of articles about fashion, and beauty etc, from the point of view of expat women living in Spain – quite an emphasis on the Costa del Sol from the point of view of shops and so on, but the information is detailed and well-researched, and quite country-wide in relevance, including a detailed health section. There are some very interesting more general articles on topics from relationships to travel.
http://costawomen.ning.com/ is a social and business networking community for women across Spain, offering a wide range of free tools – forums, groups, events, blogging…it’s a very active and lively community, a lot of the offline events and references are currently Costa Del Sol oriented, but they are growing a significant presence in the Costa Blanca and all points in between, so this is a good time to get involved in Costa Women. Particularly if you have any kind of online business presence, this site offers great free networking and exposure – along with the kind of genuine opportunities for friendship and support that networks of women bring to one another.
Women in Business Club
http://www.wibc-spain.com/ was set up to support and network women doing business in Spain. They are a membership-based organisation, and organise a range of events during the year in the Costa Blanca, including a celebration of International Women’s Day earlier this month. They actively fundraise to support victims of domestic violence in Spain.
Do you have any other favourite resources for women in Spain to connect online? I’d like to add them to our resources page on http://costaconnected.com, so we can all share and enjoy them. Please let me know, via email@example.com or @casslar.
Published in Costa Blanca News, 30th March 2012