In 2006 Natasha founded the charity Women for Refugee
Women for Refugee Women challenges the injustices experienced by women who seek refuge in the UK, through arts projects, research, and lobbying politicians and policy makers. WRW particularly seeks to enable women who seek refuge in the UK to speak out about their experiences, and supports the self-help group Women Asylum Seekers Together London. In 2008 Women for Refugee Women produced the performance event Motherland, which was directed by Juliet Stevenson and written by Natasha Walter, based on the experiences of women and children in immigration detention. The ensuing campaign against the detention of families seeking asylum culminated in the government pledge to end the detention of children in 2010.
Women for Refugee Women’s work has been covered in The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Woman’s Hour, Alan Titchmarsh Show, the Guardian, The New Statesman, the Independent and many other media outlets.
Natasha Walter in The
Guardian, 8 August 2009
“Four years ago I met a woman called Angelique. She came to this country from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she had been imprisoned and tortured because of the political activities of her father. She had been turned down for asylum and was destitute in London . So she walked the streets. She walked and walked, crisscrossing the capital, begging for food, even though she was heavily pregnant.
The fact that Angelique had to live like that in our country when she had come here as a genuine refugee shocked me so profoundly that I set up a small charity called Women for Refugee Women. This organisation works in partnership with other charities, including the Helen Bamber Foundation, Bail for Immigration Detainees, Refugee Action and Yarl's Wood Befrienders, to try to enable people to see what is going on among women seeking refuge here. As I have learned more about what women and children go through in the asylum system, my sense of shock has not lessened – it has increased.”