Digital empowerment of refugee women

Using the power of the internet to help refugee women connect, share and learn about life in the UK.

Starting life in the UK

When a refugee woman settles in the UK, it can be a time of celebration, relief and new beginnings. But she may also face challenges – with the language, fitting in and understanding what life here is like.

The Covid-19 pandemic made this even harder because it sped up the movement of resources online.  For women who don’t have IT equipment or skills, or the money to afford devices, this is particularly difficult.

Helping refugee women get online

Our digital empowerment project helps refugee women harness the power of the internet to integrate into society, get advice and find the services they need.

With funding from the Home Office Resettlement, Asylum Support and Integration Directorate, we gave 300 refugee women across the UK a laptop and unlimited data for six months.

Five Red Cross online workshops, delivered in seven languages then helped create a space where women could come together to learn about their rights, how to access services online, and stay safe and healthy.

 

Before the programme, we didn't know much about the internet, and how to go online. But when we did the project it opened our minds to how we can go about things in the UK and how we can actually live the life that the British are living today.

I also recognised that I needed this, for me. It was good.
Florence, project participant

Practical support helped women access everyday essentials

Some of the sessions covered practical tips like how to set up a strong email password. Others went into more detail on how to find what you need in the UK, such as asking for advice on housing, finding help with contraception and how to register a child at school.

We also shared information on understanding what a woman's rights are in the UK, for example when dealing with issues such as online scams, domestic abuse and the role of social services. Another important topic was how to recognise harassment and danger

We invite everyone to watch films made for the project below, co-produced by the VOICES network and available in Arabic, Farsi, English, Amharic and Tigrinya. You can also download accompanying guides to the workshops and films in English and seven other languages. Please feel free to use these to run your own workshops or learn about these issues yourself.