Restrictive policies on healthcare, education, accommodation and employment are having devastating consequences for African Women refugees.
African Women's Empowerment Forum (AWEF) have this week hosted a health inequalities conference in the East Midlands to tackle issues facing African women refugees.
AWEF provides services to support women refugees and asylum seekers who - through their trauma - may experience numerous health issues, including in mental health.
Women make up nearly 50% of the world’s international migrants (United Nations 2006). A significant proportion of migrating women are refugees, fleeing conflict, environmental disasters, poverty, and the impacts of gender inequality.
According to a Home Office-UK study on integration, there is a weight of evidence showing that refugees find it difficult in making the transition from support to independence and fulfilling their potential for development and contribution to society.
AWEF provides services to support African women refugees and asylum seekers who - through their trauma - may experience numerous health issues, including in mental health.
According to the organisation, MIND studies show that “people who come to the UK seeking refuge face a stark lack of understanding of their mental health needs and are often denied access to crucial services and treatments. Restrictive policies on healthcare, education, accommodation and employment are having devastating consequences, further marginalising refugees and asylum seekers from society”.
Home Office research shows that there are low levels of labour market participation among refugees, as well as poor terms and conditions of employment, despite the high proportion of refugees and with prior education, qualifications and work experience.
The Organisation says:
“Our own survey among women refugees and asylum seekers shows that most asylum seekers and refugees settle in pockets of poverty in primarily deprived areas in Nottingham and similar areas across the country and felt that this was a barrier in access mainstream services. Some of the main challenges that face them are in employment, education, social isolation and health.
AWEF works to support their needs in removing inequality at all levels. AWEF stands at the centre in enabling African refugees and migrant women to integrate and provide effective support mechanisms to move forward finding their true and full potential”.
AWEF provides a platform that supports women in making the transformation. The organisation provides support that cuts across a wide range of services from social through to economic.