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Making a World of Difference: UNLOCKING THE POWER OF DISPLACED WOMEN AND GIRLS

 

 

Sandrine, 18, refugee in Rwanda ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch
Sandrine, 18, refugee in Rwanda ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

 

Imagine your mother, sister or daughter having to suddenly leave home, to escape conflict or persecution. Women and girls who are forced to flee can face many risks and challenges, including the risk of violence. Those who are alone, pregnant, disabled or elderly have even greater barriers to overcome.

With your support, UNHCR is working hard to support displaced women and girls, building on their resilience to help them overcome barriers and thrive. Every woman has the right to feel safe, and confident. Here are just three examples of how you’re helping refugee women around the world:

 

PROTECTING WOMEN AND GIRLS

 

Congolese refugee Kashindi Eli, 25, earns $15 weeding and watering the nursery in Nyarugusu camp, Tanzania where a UNHCR-led initiative to grow trees is preventing environmental degradation and safeguarding vulnerable refugees from sexual and gender-based violence. © UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin
Congolese refugee Kashindi Eli, 25, earns $15 weeding and watering the nursery in Nyarugusu camp, Tanzania where a UNHCR-led initiative to grow trees is preventing environmental degradation and safeguarding vulnerable refugees from sexual and gender-based violence. © UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

Thanks to your support, a UNHCR-led initiative to grow trees in Tanzania is helping to safeguard refugees from sexual violence, while preventing environmental degradation. Women and girls at camps like Nyarugusu walk up to 10 kilometres to collect firewood. Many have been sexually assaulted. This initiative aims to ensure their protection by planting fruit and timber trees inside the camp, so they don’t have to go far to get wood for cooking or building.

 

BOOSTING INDEPENDENCE

 

“I’m proud of myself because now I can sew. If I go back to Burundi one day, I will be a tailor and teach others how to sew too.” Sandrine, 18, refugee in Rwanda ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch
“I’m proud of myself because now I can sew. If I go back to Burundi one day, I will be a tailor and teach others how to sew too.” Sandrine, 18, refugee in Rwanda ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

Thanks to you, women like Sandrine are learning valuable life skills at a UNHCR-supported women’s centre at Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda. Getting the opportunity to work is one of the most effective ways people can rebuild their lives after fleeing conflict.19 So far, Sandrine has learned how to make dresses, shirts and shorts. “If I go back to Burundi one day, I will be a tailor and support other women and girls, and teach them how to sew too,” she says.

 

FIGHTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

 

Somali refugee Aisha, 21, learns the art of self-defence at SheFighter studio, the Middle East's first women-only gym. © UNHCR/Olga Sarrado Mur
Somali refugee Aisha, 21, learns the art of self-defence at SheFighter studio, the Middle East's first women-only gym. © UNHCR/Olga Sarrado Mur

With your support, young women like Aisha, a Somali refugee in Jordan, are learning how to protect themselves against harassment, while boosting their confidence. Aisha is part of a group of refugee women of all ages who learnt self-defence at the first women’s only gym of its kind in the Middle East. Self-defence classes are part of a wider UNHCR push to empower vulnerable refugee women and girls across the region, and reduce the risks they face. The drive includes cash assistance, skills training and the provision of safe spaces.

  • “As a woman, I want to develop myself, for my future and my children.” Aline, 30, Burundian refugee in Rwanda ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

  • “What a boy can do, a girl can do.” Jaqueline, 23, Burundian refugee and football coach in Rwanda. ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

  • Pow Gaw, 58 A refugee in Thailand who are selected by the community to be a camp leader.