ASILE Civil Society Group

Women Refugee Route – Europe

Description of organisation 

Women Refugee Route (WRR) strives to create more inclusive societies by changing today’s system of decision-making towards a feminist humanitarian system that places the power and leadership of girls and women at the center, in both local, national and international contexts. All our workings seek to empower women and girls living in displacement to raise their own voice on the matters that concern them, and to support them to use their potential to the fullest. 

Women Refugee Routes main objectives are: 

  • To increase the general diversity of opinions at the decision-making table in the field of displacement and migration in local, national and international contexts.  
  • Empowering women and girls to claim a seat at the decision-making table, by organizing advocacy trainings across Europe (‘WRR Advocacy Training’); 
  • Sharing of skills, knowledge and experience between women and girls affected by displacement, and stakeholders, such as UN agencies, governments and EU.  

As a civil society organization, WRR has identified two key obstacles to the taking into account of women and girls’ realities in international decision making processes. Firstly, there is a need to empower and provide tools to women and girls in order to increase their ability to take ownership of their personal story and make sure legal frameworks and policies affecting their situation, take it into account. Secondly, there is a need to bring the political debates affecting the lives of displaced women and girls to the places where they (are forced to) stay. Through WRR Advocacy Trainings for displaced women and girls, WRR provides its participants with tools for storytelling, taking ownership of their personal story, public speaking, and their rights. Moreover, the training provides the participants with a better understanding of the general legal framework and the various decision-makers which affect their situation. Lastly, the training aims at establishing a strong network between its participants, supported by WRR, in order to build a pool of strong voices to impact the policy field, as well as to build a network of support. The red thread through WRR’s work is working for, and together with, the women on the ground with great respect for their skills and identities.

Staff Profile

Ms. Mina Jaf

Founder of Women Refugee Route

Mina Jaf is the founder of Women Refugee Route, an NGO working to change the system of decision-making in migration policy by including refugee women in the process. She was born in Kurdistan, and at 11 years old was forced to flee to Denmark as a refugee together with her mother and siblings. Mina identifies as a feminist and has dedicated herself to working on refugee and on women’s rights issues, bringing her personal experience and perspective on gender inequality to her vocal advocacy efforts and work with refugees. She has been named as one of the most influential people under 30 by Forbes in the category “Europe’s 30 under 30 – Law & Policy”. Mina is also a member of Women Deliver’s Humanitarian Advisory Committee, providing strategic guidance and partnership to support the organization’s work to advocate for better programs, policies, and investments for girls and women in humanitarian settings.

Ms. Evelien Wauters

Fundraising Coordinator and Legal Officer at Women Refugee Route

Evelien Wauters is working as WRR’s Fundraising Coordinator and one of its Legal Officers. Based in Brussels, Evelien is a Law graduate and PhD candidate at KU Leuven. She is preparing a PhD regarding the legal implications of the solidarity principle in the international (refugee) law context, while working at a research centre linked to KU Leuven. Previously, she worked for human rights advocacy organisations, as well as the Belgian federal government in the field of asylum and migration. The red thread through her work is thinking about and working towards inclusive and sustainable societies. In addition, the attaches great value to the full recognition of the skills, capacities, and identities of women, as well as the creation of conditions for personal growth. As part of WRR, Evelien produces legal and policy papers on asylum and migration trends and developments at the international, and European level, all with the aim of arriving at more inclusive, and gender-sensitive law and policy; is giving talks on WRR’s mission and the data gathered in its field missions at international and European fora; and, facilitates trainings for service-providers working with displaced women, as well as for displaced women on the rights of displaced women and the broader international, and European legal and policy framework.