Making our voices count

back of women in veil  c. Jenny Wicks
Each of us can make a difference

Every day in the world women are beaten, raped and trapped in their homes.  Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

This basic human right is not realised for the many women in the world who experience physical, emotional and sexual abuse in their own homes.

Refugee women often experience violence in their country and during their journey to reach the UK. Once they arrive they hope to be better treated, but it is not the case at all.  On their arrival, they find themselves being victims again of the asylum process.  Women’s particular needs are not always considered and the asylum process itself is not gender sensitive.

Women are often traumatised by having to report to the Home Office on a regular basis, especially because they are liable to be detained. Women on Section 4 are given financial support in the form of the Azure care which can be used in certain shops but which has no cash element to enable them to use public transport or to buy a warm cheap jacket for the cold weather.  Women can also face destitution or live in poverty, on the street without roof or care, and can be vulnerable to exploitation.

Working together for change

The Refugee Women’s Strategy Group are a group of refugee and asylum seeking women who work to influence the policy and practices which impact so powerfully on our lives. We try to ensure that refugee women have a voice.  We have a right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, and we need an asylum system that takes our specific needs as women into account.

The 16 days campaign will only work with the support of people in local communities and other organisations nationwide. Each of us can make a difference and demand an end to violence against women, and a better asylum system which treats women with respect and dignity.


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