Women and girls make up nearly half of the 258 million people worldwide who have crossed international borders to escape danger or pursue opportunity. Amidst unprecedented levels of forced displacement – with 68.5 million people driven from their homes by the end of 2017 – about half of refugees, too, are women and girls.
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Refugees & IDPs
Founder Samira Harnish, an Iraqi immigrant, is named Nansen Award regional finalist from the Americas.
“His verbal attacks were merciless,” says Gemila, a 28-year-old Syrian refugee, about her husband. UNFPA Turkey is running safe spaces funded by the European Commission - Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations - ECHO to help survivors of gender-based violence like Gemila.
1.3 million refugees are currently hosted by Jordan, a country that continues to demonstrate humanitarian leadership in the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2012, UN Women opened its first Oasis— a centre for refugee women and girls to access emergency aid and specialized gender-based violence services at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan. Over time, the scope and impact of the Oasis model has expanded to encompass multi-sectoral services that build women’s resilience and empowerment. Currently, UN Women operates four Oasis centres in two Jordanian camps: Za’atari and Azraq.
Refugee women and girls face extraordinary hardships. They endure grave risks and often brutal violence, and many are thrust into poverty. But they can also face another, more intimate, hardship, one that is seldom discussed - the effects of exile on their sexual and reproductive health.
World Refugee day is June 20. There are 22.5 million refugees around the world today, and half of them—some 11 million—are women and girls. UN Women works with millions of people who have left their homes, loved ones and life as they knew, fleeing violence, persecution or disasters. We stand #WithRefugees.
The stairwell is the only place they could find with enough space and seclusion for them to study - just one example of their determination to overcome the odds and achieve academic success.
DAMASCUS, Syria - Fatima and Rasha welcomed new children into the world on the same day - an experience that would be completely unremarkable if not for their circumstances. Both women are living in uncertainty after fleeing the conflict in northern Syria, part of a wave of displacements that continues to grow.
In August 2015, she and her younger sister Yusra took the same hazardous route to Lesvos themselves, as refugees fleeing the war in their native Syria.
Although she was born to Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp in Damascus, Lujain looked forward to a bright future while growing up. "We had a house, a car, everything a Syrian citizen had," she recalls.