1. Who they are

Women* Refugee Route (WRR) consists of 11 members, situated in Denmark, Belgium and Greece, with backgrounds in law, IT, policy, development, communication, gender and LGBTI, who contribute on a voluntary basis to the workings of the organisation. The founder and director, Mina Jaf, was born in Kurdistan and fled to Europe at 11 years old with her mother and siblings. Mina has dedicated her time to refugee and women’s rights issues, bringing her personal experience and perspective on gender inequality to her vocal advocacy. She founded WRR in Denmark in March 2016. Today, WRR is a pan-European organisation working internationally by training, and advocating for the rights of refugee women and girls.

2.What they did

With the support of the Rethink Grant 2019, in June 2019 WRR organized an Advocacy Training in Brussels, aiming to provide twenty participating women with concrete tools on how to advocate for themselves and their communities. Similar training has been previously organized in Athens, Mytilini (Lesvos), and Copenhagen. The workshop session topics included insights into relevant legal frameworks, into methods for breaking stereotypes, as well as rhetoric tools for successful storytelling. Child-care and prayer facilities were provided throughout the day. The two-day training equipped participants with knowledge on how to influence policies which impact women refugees on different facets of their life. Guests made the most of the childcare facilities provided by WRR, who took care of six to twelve children. In order to further nurture the seeds planted throughout the training, a Facebook group was created for the training participants. The group will be further used to continue the discussion started, organize events, offer advocacy or other opportunities for empowerment, etc. It represents a safe space where we respect everyone’s identity, where we can feel free of judgment or harm, and where we know that the information or experiences shared will not travel beyond this group.

3.Why is this relevant for the FundAction community?

WRR works to generate systemic change by creating spaces where women in displacement can get tools to act as self-advocates. WRR identifies a need for sustainable support for displaced women and girls. This requires that the people concerned have the opportunity to raise their voices and take part in the political decision-making processes that affect their lives. Since 2016, WRR has worked towards more inclusive societies by way of transforming today’s system of decision-making. On the one hand, by bringing the political discussions to the places where displaced women and girls reside. On the other hand, empowering them to use their own voice on the matters that concern them directly, and claim a seat at the decision-making table. We believe women in displacement should be given the tools to use their potential to the
fullest with a view to generating creativity and change. Through the concept of Advocacy training, WRR aims at creating a safe, intersectional and inclusive space for sharing, capacity-building, and empowering.