Refugee Women Produce Help Guide for Women in the Asylum Process

pregnant woman reading a leaflet c. Jenny Wicks

The Refugee Women’s Strategy Group (RWSG) recently launched a new leaflet designed to help women going through the asylum process in the UK. Members of the group tell us more about ‘Claiming Asylum: What Women Need to Know’. 

Who is the leaflet for?

We have developed this leaflet for women who are at the start of the asylum process. 

It gives general information about claiming asylum and about what to expect at both the screening interview and the substantive (main) interview. 

It also provides guidance to women about their rights during these interviews. This includes the right to ask for a female interviewer and interpreter. It’s really important that women feel they can speak freely about their experiences to support their claim for asylum. Other rights include being able to ask the interviewer for a break and getting a written copy of what’s been discussed. 

We hope it will help women who are unfamiliar with the asylum process and don’t know how the system works to be better prepared.

Why was it important to produce this leaflet? 

We felt that while there was existing information about the asylum process, often the information was not specific to women and their rights. 

Many of us in the group had found the asylum process difficult and stressful, and we did not know what to expect during these important stages. But our leaflet aims to use our experiences to help other women. 

We would like to also thank the Rosa Fund which provided funding for us to produce this leaflet.

Where can people get a copy of the leaflet?

We will be distributing this leaflet in paper form and email to statutory, voluntary sector and community organisations who work closely with asylum seeking women who are in the early stages of their asylum claim. You can also download it here. Please share it with any woman you think could benefit from it.

What do you hope this leaflet will achieve?

We hope that the information in ‘Claiming Asylum: What Women Need to Know’ will help women develop confidence to speak out and to exercise their rights. Being interviewed in appropriate conditions helps them communicate their experiences and be better understood. 

And if women feel prepared to speak up about their rights during this difficult process, it may help them later to feel more confident about speaking about other issues in their lives.

Our hope is that the leaflet will also increase agency awareness about women’s needs and rights during the asylum process so that everyone has an understanding of what asylum seeking women’s rights are and how they should be supported to access them. 

We welcome any feedback from asylum seeking women about their experiences using the leaflet. Please email rwsg@mail.com to let us know.

The Refugee Women’s Strategy Group is an independent group of refugee and asylum seeking women with experience of the asylum process. The group works together to get their voices heard among decision makers. 

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