Refugee Women: Unpacking Gender-based Violence

Refugee Women: Unpacking Gender-based Violence

11 December 2020 — 11:00–14:00 CET (21:00 Sydney | 05:00 Ottawa)

Save the date for a virtual conference led and organized by Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL) and hosted by the World Refugee & Migration Council.

Marking the end of the international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, this highly interactive virtual conference will bring together women refugees from around the world at a critical moment. Panels will include refugee women from around the world leading discussions on topics of gender-based violence including access to sexual and reproductive health as well as economic, physical, psychological, and sexual violence against women.

Follow the conversation online via @wrmcouncil and @GIRWL1 with the hashtags #UnpackingGBV #16Days #OrangeTheWorld #16DaysOfActivism. Learn more about GIRWL here.

Watch the conference:



  • Presentation of GIRWL Co-founders
  • Introductory words from Bárbara Romero (GIRWL) (El Salvador)    
  • Welcome from Devota Nuwe, WRMC Council Member and Head of Programs, Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda)
  • Najeeba Wazefadost (GIRWL) explains the dynamics of the panels. (Afghanistan – Australia)

Panel 1: Violence against women in access to sexual and reproductive health


  • Refugee woman: Parwana Amiri, youth activist (Afghanistan – Greece)
  • Refugee woman: Nicole Santamaría, intersex trans woman (El Salvador – USA)
  • Jayne Fleming, Pro Bono Counsel and Human Rights Team Lead, Reed Smith, and International Project Leader at Lamp Lifeboat Ladder (Jordan – USA)

Panel 2: Economic and patrimonial violence against women


  • Refugee woman: Hamma Ayena, Maglaha (speaking in Arabic), women’s rights (Western Africa SMARA)
  • Refugee woman: Wafaa Jammal AlHayek, quality of response to migrant women (AUE – Dubai)
  • Refugee woman: Tina Dixson, research in queer women (Ukraine – Australia)

BREAK – Anila Noor invites participants to take a break of 5 minutes

Panel 3: Bodily violence against women (sexual, psychological, physical violence)


  • Refugee woman: Lilith Raza, trans activist (Pakistan – Germany)
  • Refugee woman: Noura Bittar Søborg, advocate against rape (Syria – Denmark)
  • Rachel Levitan, Vice President, International Programs, HIAS (USA)

Conference summary

  • Conference summary by Anila Noor, GIRWL

Closing remarks

  • Caroline Masboungi, UNICEF GBV service delivery and innovations work (Amman, Jordan)
  • Rosemary McCarney, WRMC member, Massey College Senior Fellow in Foreign and Defence Policy, and former Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations (Canada)
  • Andrea Ayala, GIRWL (El Salvador)

This conference was made possible with the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and through a partnership with Cuso International.