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How is it, being a female refugee in Jordan?

Coming back to Syrian refugees, there is another issue which should be really taken into consideration, the case in Jordan. The Jordanian government welcomed the refugees; it has opened Zaatari camp which is located near the Syrian border. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, due to the ongoing war in Syria, by the end of 2013 the number of refugees reached around one million. Even though, the refugees escaped the dangers in their homeland, their presence in Jordan is still making their lives challenging especially for women and girls.
There are several challenges that Syrian women are facing as refugees and all the challenges vary within and outside of the camp. For instance, there are concerns about domestic violence, sexual exploitation, forced marriages and prostitution of young Syrian Women. The situation has worsened; parents are selling their daughters to those who offer marriage, with the hope that they are doing the best for their daughter, so they are away from the refugee camp. However, in many cases those daughters have been used for a short-term pleasure marriages or prostitution.

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According to many researchers, fears of sexual and gender-based violence became a crucial issue for Syrian women since arriving in Jordan. For instance, levels of intimate-partner violence have increased as well as sex-aid exchange and physical and emotional abuses. Similarly, as I mentioned before, the level of forced marriages among young Syrian girls aged 15-18 have dramatically increased; also there are many cases when girls have been married even before 15. This is how Syrian female refugees are treated in Jordan, and they are definitely losers. There is a short video which I found interesting, it clearly shows the lives of female refugees inside and outside of the camp.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDIQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.unhcr.org%2Fsyrianrefugees%2Fdownload.php%3Fid%3D4351&ei=ZOk6U4DPIcWd0AX8toH4Dw&usg=AFQjCNEYVGisPr0E5AWLHhu4F25uwU5Q5w&bvm=bv.63934634,d.Yms

http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/oip/pdfs/Final%20%20Syrian%20Women%20Research.pdf

 

Madina Orazakynova (Dubai Campus)

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3 thoughts on “How is it, being a female refugee in Jordan?

  1. Great post Madina, I agree with you. This was actually the topic discussed at DIHAD (Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference). The hardships you mentioned that women refugees face were covered and most of the stories and statistics were quite shocking. Women are even more in need of assistance then men when disasters or crises occur. What I found interesting in this conference is that women, on whom disasters and crisis inflict a disproportional amount of suffering, are also the same women who are the essential providers of relief and assistance. Balqis Hindash (M00385581)

  2. Madina – You have outlined some important issues of concern (i.e.gender-based violence and forced marriage) which impact women in refugee camps. The percentage of women mistreated in such scenarios is rising at unprecedented levels. Great post ! However I would wish to elaborate. The situation of these women worsens because in many cultures the issue of sexual abuse or forced prostitution is one of shame and dishonor, unfortunately. For example, after a woman has been raped, she is often ostracised by the refugee community and is seen as unfit to marry – an unwanted burden on family perhaps. As a result, women do not report the issue of rapes or seek help from refugee workers which deteriorates their situation further. They are trapped in a vicious cycle and are definitely losers consequently.

    Ammna Nasser (Dubai campus)

  3. Madina, I think you have brought to light a great topic!! While I was researching for my policy analysis essay about Syrian refugees in Lebanon, I came across a video about how Saudis pedophile exploit Syrian girls in Lebanon. Basically, it becomes difficult to stop this phenomenon because marriages are used as a cover for prostitution and sex trafficking.
    If you are interested, this is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbruZZs61Ec

    Francesca Urso (Dubai Campus)

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