Women refugees can be especially vulnerable. Marking Women’s Day, fundraising, education and dance events are taking place to support work for displaced women.
Today, UN High Commission for Refugees are fundraising to support more projects like the ‘Women’s Committee of the Future’. Based in Turkey, where over 3 million Syrian refugees were living in 2016, the Urban Refugee Women’s Network, with UNHCR support, developed a support group for women coming together over tea. Meeting after Turkish language classes at the local community centre, discussion of the issues they faced as refugees ultimately led to the formation of their own independent group. This group now participates in advocacy for refugee rights, education, community campaigns, and supporting access to healthcare.
“ We think that the positive side of our displacement is that this Committee has empowered us as women to realize our rights and our capacity to make changes that affect our lives as women here and when we return home.”
Member of Women’s Committee of the Future
Closer to home, voluntary organisations work to support women refugees and their families. In Liverpool, Refugee Women Connect offers support ranging from family play sessions, personal visits and weekly support groups. Their women’s choir will be performing in Liverpool at ‘Sisbis’ tonight, or supporters can join the party in Manchester with ‘Dance for Refuge’, supporting Women for Refugee Women, a national charity.
It’s tempting to see the current ‘refugee crisis’ as unprecedented: Liverpool’s own history offers challenges to that narrative.
The talk ‘Eleanor Rathbone – the MP for refugees’ by Janet Wolff is hosted by Liverpool University as part of their women’s day celebrations tonight, and an exhibition on Rathbone’s life continues until the end of April, held in the Victoria Museum, Liverpool.
Edge Hill’s Action for Refugees are working to organise collaborative events on campus with refugees. We’re keen to share work going on in our community: please contact [email protected]