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Stories: How the protection gap affects women seeking protection from persecution

Categories: Protection Gap,Publications

The Protection Gap campaign is lead by an advisory group of refugee women advocates, and is based on the experiences of women going through the UK asylum system. Here are some of their stories:



“I could have opened up more but my little boy was there, I don’t want to bias his mind, I don’t want him to go through that trauma.  When it’s just you and your child, you struggle. In the interview there was a bit of disturbance because he wanted attention.”

-Annick, Cameroon




my translator

Female interviewer & interpreter:

“My brain, when I was facing a young man, it was not connecting properly to my mouth, I couldn’t explain myself clearly. My culture is from the Middle East, I think it made me uncomfortable trying to explain myself. He wasn’t good for me to speak to.”

-Zara, Iraq




my husband

Trained interviewer & interpreter:

“The interviewer was difficult to deal with and I faced more problems with the interpreter at the trial. He was just not willing to translate fully what I was saying. He was skimming over very important things like he didn’t want to talk about some of the things I was saying.”

-Shukri, Somalia




my experiences


“The fear follows you. The system is so demanding that I lost the energy. We waited for a long, long time for our asylum decision, I was drained and I needed support. I was used to having the whole family around me, but we were left alone. I felt lonely and isolated.”

-Ariam, Eritrea




my bad situation


“You don’t know what rights you have. All you know is that there is democracy here, but you don’t know as a woman what you are entitled to. You don’t know if you can ask things. Women from my community don’t have confidence, they are scared and they don’t know that they have rights.”

-Hani, Sudan




Help us close the Protection Gap for women in our asylum system – learn more about the campaign!

Names & some identifying details have been changed. Interviews are available on request.

www.asylumaid.org.uk/protectiongap // media@asylumaid.org.uk // 07483 120 703



Photography by Warren Goldswain | Design by The Red Brick Road