International Women’s Day 2020


International Women’s Day 2020

We asked some of the women at JRS UK about their experiences & hopes for an equal future.

08 March 2020

International Women’s Day 2020

There are many remarkable women who make up the JRS community: from refugee friends, to volunteers and staff.

As an inclusive workplace, JRS UK is a space where all women are given the chance to thrive. Part of our mission is to empower refugee women through a network of support, creative expression and the opportunity to learn and develop skills

 This International Women’s Day, we join millions around the world in celebrating women’s achievements, and calling out inequality as we continue to work towards a society that is equal for all. As this years IWD campaign theme states,

  ‘An equal world is an enabled world.’

We asked some of the women who make up JRS UK about their experiences, achievements, and hopes for the future:


What change would you most like to see in society?


Greater understanding and empathy for others. A society that looks out for others more.

–  Jess R


There are a lot of changes I would like to see, so this is really, really tough to answer. I would like a society where everyone is valued, heard, and supported. Working on policy issues for people who are marginalised, I am conscious that this would require a society with a much more equal balance of power.

– Sophie


As Senior Legal Caseworker at JRS UK, I hear and read about how gender-based violence affects women in their home countries. Many women suffer in silence and avoid reporting adverse treatment, due to fear of reprisals and stigmatisation. There are many examples across the world of gender-based violence and it is a constant reminder of the long road ahead for gender equality. I would like to see an end to gender-based violence.

– Jess J.



Despite the progress that has been made, society can still present women as second class, vulnerable or weak. A woman is of great potential and contribution in society because of their unique, innate creativity which influence the thoughts and actions of the whole society and world. I would like to see an improvement in the attitude towards women, that they are treated with respect, care, dignity and equal opportunities.

– Sr. Linda


What are you most proud of?


I’m most proud of being able to speak four languages fluently. Being able to do so opens up ways of communicating and connecting with a wide range of people; helping me feel at home in different parts of the world.

–  Cristina



Finding my place at JRS UK. It’s been a long, winding journey but I’m finally doing something I love and am proud of every day.

– Joanna


I feel very proud because I work with the JRS team. Unlike other work places, in JRS we all work in a friendly environment. JRS value each other. Therefore I would like to thank all of my JRS members.

– Edith


What is the most important human quality?


Ability to love

– Jess R.


Kindness, because it is an active but maybe instinctive type of love, and without it nothing else you do seems to matter.

– Sophie




Compassion. In today’s culture of self, compassion dares to elevate and shine a light on the other, no matter who they are; knowing no boundaries it seeks to restore the bond between us all.

– Ann


Who is your female role model?


Oprah Winfrey

– A refugee friend


It’s hard to narrow it down to just one role model but I think it would be Mother Teresa. Her deep and lasting commitment to the poor and marginalised has been profoundly inspiring for me in my work alongside the most neglected in society.

– Beatrice




Sarah Teather, our director

– A volunteer


I always looked up to both of my grandmothers – one escaped and one was deported from their occupied homeland during WW2. All my life, I’ve been fascinated by the amount of strength and resilience they must have found in horrific circumstances. Their stories ignited my deep-rooted passion for working with forcibly displaced people.

– Joanna



If you’d like to empower refugee women by supporting the work of JRS UK, find out what you can do at home or in your local community

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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