Stories of refugee women
Seeking asylum is a human right. No matter our differences, all people deserve to live safely, free from violence and harm. In Australian media, and disappointingly from the mouths of politicians, language and certain words are used to dehumanise refugees. In response to this, her words shares the rarely heard perspectives of four women - Ayan Shirwa, Fadak Alfayadh, Akuol Garang and Nayran Tabiei.
Ayan Shirwa is a producer and presenter at 3CR Community Radio. She is also a young Somali woman who came to Australia in 1992. Ayan shares her story - talking candidly about the impact that growing up, not only as a refugee, but as an African muslim woman in white Australia, had on her mental health.
Fadak Alfayadh is a community lawyer and advocate for refugee rights. Fifteen years ago, she was also a refugee. Fadak migrated to Australia from Iraq, after it became unliveable for her family to stay during the war. They were forced to leave.
More than twenty years ago, Akuol Garang’s family fled Sudan to escape the war and made the long walk to Ethiopia. That walk took them about a month, and at the time, Akuol's mother was nine months pregnant with her. She gave birth during that walk, and they then safely made it to Kenya where Akuol spent the first eleven years of her life growing up in a refugee camp.
Nayran Tabiei has always loved her home but she was forced to flee Syria and leave behind her sons who were conscripted in the military. With her husband and young daughter, they travelled to Lebanon, then Thailand, and finally made the dangerous journey by boat to Australian waters in 2012.