This year Empower Her* Voice has chosen to fundraise for Women for Refugee Women (@4refugeewomen on Instagram).
Amidst the pandemic over the past year we’ve watched people struggle through various difficulties, COVID-19 being one of many, but we became aware early on of the implications of this pandemic and how it had become “gendered”. During the crisis response to COVID-19, there have been many gendered oversights which have negatively impacted women. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased reports of domestic violence, poverty, unemployment, and lack of vaccine access which disproportionately affect women globally. In the UK alone, 47% of mothers were more likely than fathers to have lost or quit their job since lockdown began, women make up 70% of healthcare workers globally even though PPE (personal protective equipment) is made based on the sizes and characteristics of male populations, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Historical data shows intimate partner violence towards women increases during pandemics and other times of crisis. The NCW in India reported a 2.5 times increase in domestic violence between February and May 2020, and in Lagos State, Nigeria, domestic violence reports increased over 100%. An IRC survey in 15 African countries found that more than 70% of displaced and refugee women saw a rise in domestic violence in their communities.
As part of our campaign this summer, we wanted to provide an opportunity to empower these voices that have been neglected, not only during the pandemic but notably during this period with it. So for the next month (beginning on the 30th of August and ending on the 30th of September) we will be fundraising to support a group that will provide women with the support and empowerment they need to grow and thrive during this time.
So with all this in mind, we have chosen to support Women for Refugee Women.
- “Empowering women who have sought asylum in the UK is the heart of our work. We support women who are seeking refuge from persecution, including rape and other torture, to rebuild their lives and communicate their own needs and stories.” -
We hope to raise £3000 and we’d really love it if you’d help us in our efforts to reach that goal. Just for some idea of where your money might go if you choose to support us:
* £100 can provide one woman with therapeutic mental health support with a qualified psychologist for one month
* £300 provides high-quality immigration advice over the phone to around six women
* £1,000 enables 10 women to attend our drama empowerment programme for a whole term
As part of this campaign we are also hosting a panel on the 9th September at 6pm (GMT) entitled “Unravelling the Gendered Pandemic: Oversights, Policy and Empowerment.” We would love it if you’d join us and our panelists to discuss a wide range of issues for women globally due to COVID-19 and how we can begin to respond to these changes.
To find out more about Empower Her* Voice, check out our website here .