This section includes details of seminars, conferences and other events by and about refugee women, including events organised by WiRL members. Please email us if you would like us to include information about an event.
Future events and calls for papers
26 March 2024 - African Refugee Women and Gendered (In)visibility – 26 March 2024
Registration is open for this seminar that WiRL is holding in partnership with the Department of African and American Studies at Brandeis University. We are delighted to have a brilliant speaker (Rose Jaji) and equally brilliant moderator (Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso) for this event addressing the gendered invisibility of refugee women outside their specific African cultural and political contexts.
Details and registration link and QR code are in the event flyer and we will send the Zoom joining link to participants a week before the event.
28 March 2024 - The Poetry of Forced Migration
👥 The Poetry of Forced Migration – Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela: In Conversation
🎟️ To attend, register here
🗓️ Thursday, 28 March 2024, Online, 6-7.30pm UK Time
Join us for an evening of poetry and conversation with poets Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela.
As part of the evening, Malka and Loraine will read and discuss each other’s and their own work and share insights and reflections on the influences they draw on in their writing and activism.
The readings and conversation take place online on Thursday, 28 March 2024, from 6pm till 7.30pm UK time.
ABOUT THE POETS
● Malka Al Haddad is the author of The Truth at the End of the Night (Palewell Press Ltd, 2023) and Birds Without Sky: Poems from exile (Harriman House Ltd, 2018). Malka grew up during the Iran-Iraq war and lost several close family members during the first Gulf War and American invasion in 2003. She became a poet and a human rights advocate, which attracted hostility towards her in Iraq. While she was studying English in preparation for her PhD in the UK, death threats against her escalated and she couldn’t return back to her beloved home and family. Malka’s asylum claim was continually refused by the Home Office and after 11 years, she was eventually granted leave to remain, but without access to public funding. She is now an ambassador for City of Sanctuary in the UK. Malka’s pain and anger on behalf of all those caught up in the UK asylum system give her poetry a passionate strength and urgency.
● Loraine Masiya Mponela is a migrants rights campaigner, community organiser and the author of Now I Sing: 50 poems to celebrate 50 years (Independently published, 2024) and I Was Not Born a Sad Poet (Independently published, 2022). Loraine was born and raised in Malawi, and currently lives in England, UK. A writer of poetry, comedy and articles, her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, and magazines.
ABOUT FORCED MIGRATION AND THE ARTS
Forced Migration and The Arts is a global network that brings together people with lived experience of forced migration, artists, academics and activists from around the world. The network hosts monthly discussion panels around forced migration and the arts, and aims to:
● bring together refugee and non-refugee artists, activists, scholars and art spaces,
● create a platform for conversation, dialogue, discussion and the sharing of ideas, experiences, knowledge, information and approaches, and
● encourage mutual support and collaboration.
27 March 2024 - The Current State of Migration
Sibel Safi from WiRL’s Steering Group, is one of the organisers of The Current State of Migration, at Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, 3-5 April. The Call for Papers for the conference is open until 15 March, early bird registration runs until 22 March and the final deadline for registration is 27 March.
27 November 2023 - WiRL First Public Seminar
Seminar One: A Cold Climate for Refugee Women?
This was the first in a series of free online seminars hosted by the Women in Refugee Law (WiRL) network on the 2023/24 theme of “Refuge in a cold climate: the impact on women”. These are public events, ideal for anyone whose work relates to refugee or asylum-claiming women or with an interest in the needs and experiences of refugee women. This series will draw on WiRL’s global membership to apply a gendered lens in analysing the impact of increasing hostility to refugees in different states and contexts.
The seminar featured two presentations:
1. “Saving brown women from brown men? Navigating the politics of refugee protection in the interests of all”
Professor Heaven Crawley
Head of Equitable Development and Migration at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in New York and a post-colonial feminist researcher who has worked on issues of gender and refugee protection since the late 1980s.
2. “Addressing challenges, unlocking opportunities: UNHCR’s approach to gender equality and the empowerment of refugee women in practice”
Sandra Sierfert Stroem
Associate Protection Officer and Gender Advisor in the Division of International Protection at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.
Presentations were followed by a discussion chaired by Loraine Mponela (WiRL co-convenor).
12 July 2022 - WiRL First Anniversary Members’ Event
WiRL held its first anniversary members’ event on 12 July 2022 where members identified priorities for refugee women from their sector, discipline, region and perspectives and considered how WiRL might contribute to addressing these priorities in its second year.
30 November 2021 - WiRL Conference
The first Women in Refugee Law (WiRL) network conference took place on 30 November 2021 and brought together academics, activists and practitioners to discuss key questions in asylum, refugee and human rights law.
Read a summary of the conference (PDF).
Watch the recordings of the conference:
4 May 2021 - WiRL Roundtable
On 4 May 2021, a Roundtable was organised to launch the network.
Twenty-one participants from European countries, Australia and the USA attended, including academics, asylum-seeking and refugee women, activists, advocates, and representatives of UNHCR, NGOs and the legal profession. Participants brainstormed and identified research questions and areas of contemporary significance for the protection of refugee women, before proposing steps for taking the initiative forward.
The Roundtable was informed by a Concept Note (PDF).