Women’s Project

Promoting fairness and dignity


The Women’s Project aims to ensure that women seeking asylum in the UK are treated with fairness and with dignity, through a system which is transparent and is respectful to their needs.

The particular challenges facing women seeking asylum in the UK are too often overlooked, and the most basic gender-sensitive provisions missing.  The legal representation, legal analysis and campaigns work provided by the Women’s Project over more than a decade aims to fill this gap.

The traditional image of a refugee is that of a lone male political activist, persecuted for his involvement in protests against the state.  Women, too, can be persecuted for such political activism – but political activities can also take different forms, such as refusing to abide by restrictions on dress codes.  In addition, women are more likely to face forms of persecution that are particular to them, including domestic violence, rape, sexual violence, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation.


How the Women’s Project works

The Women’s Project at Asylum Aid is the only project of its kind in the UK.  For more than ten years it has combined dedicated legal advice work with original research and country of origin expertise, and used the information from all these sources to inform our policy, lobbying and campaigning activities.

For women seeking asylum, or people working on their behalf, the Women’s Project provides:

  • Free legal advice and representation
  • One-off advice and referrals to other agencies
  • Lobbying, campaigning and pushing for reform on issues that affect women seeking asylum
  • Training on gender issues in the asylum system


Free resources from the Women’s Project

Asylum Aid publishes a variety of materials on women and asylum, including newsletters, research reports, policy statements. All of our publications are available in our Publications Library. A few of our more popular resources from the Women’s Project include:

Please note: since the production of the CD and play in 2007, effective advocacy by Asylum Aid and other has forced changes in some areas of Government policy.  Childcare is now provided during asylum interviews in all regional offices except London, and the ‘gender-sensitive question’ has been added to those asked during the asylum screening interview


EHMP_logoIn 2006, the Women’s Project won the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize, which is awarded each year for exceptional work to highlight and combat violence against women and children.


awardIn 2010, the Project’s work on the Charter of the Rights of Women Seeking Asylum was highly commended by the Charity Awards