Women Asylum Seekers in the UK – Short Film

In collaboration with Hope Projects in Birmingham, Anti-Type Films and the Twelve 01 Project, CTDC has produced a short documentary film about women asylum seekers in the UK and the challenges they face awaiting their case to be determined. The film is based on interviews with women asylum seekers, academics and practitioners.

It highlights many of the issues women face including destitution, sex work and lack of material resources. Research for this film demonstrated that the issue of destitution is particularly challenging and showed that asylum law indirectly encourages women to have children, while waiting for their asylum, in order for them to not become destitute. This film also shows that the experience of women asylum seekers is different from men asylum seekers, and that it is particularly challenging for women, if they come to the UK as dependent on a male relative or partner.

The film does not only explore the processes of asylum and how it affects women negatively, but it also shows how women also face other challenges, which are in most cases not talked about within conversations about asylum. For example, women feel a disconnect from their countries, communities, and families of origin, when in the UK, especially when their asylum process takes sometimes up to ten years, if not more.

The film is available on the centre’s YouTube Channel.

Training Workshop for Syrian Women in Reyhanlı

Funded by the UN Democracy Fund, CTDC has provided a training course on women’s rights issues to Zeytuna Project implemented by MANDAT International targeting Syrian refugee women in Reyhanlı. The training course covered topics including the international discourse on women’s rights, local discourses on women’s rights, the construction of gender and sexuality, sexual violence and the importance of women mobilisation. The workshop included around 40 women, over a period of two days. Following the workshop, women attendees in Reyhanlı formed a women’s committee to provide support to each other and to raise awareness about gender and women’s issues. The workshop was run in a participatory manner, which allowed women safe space to talk and to share their experiences. CTDC is planning to issue a report based on some of the information and experiences shared by women attendees, to shed light on the suffering of Syrian women refugees in the south of Turkey.

Training Workshop for Syrian Women in Reyhanlı

Reclaim the Night – Coventry

In March 2015, CTDC has contributed to organising and sponsoring Reclaim the Night Event in Coventry. Reclaim the Night is a women-led event fighting for the right of all women to be out on the street and in public spaces without fear or threat of violence. The event took place on Saturday 7 March 2015, the women-only march took place around the centre of Coventry, starting from Broadgate, and ending with a women-only rally and celebration at Transport House on Short Street.

The event aimed to provide a women’s only safe space, where readings and poetry took place by women and for women. The tradition of reclaim the night started in the UK on November 12, 1977, and they were a protest by women against sexual harassment. Ever since, reclaim the night has been organised by women all across the UK, and in many other countries.