Struggle and Hardship for Women Refugees
The majority of refugees or internally displaced people are women and children. This often means that female headed households are common and face additional struggles and burdens when living in host nations.
Women are less likely to find suitable employment in Lebanon’s broken economy, are often carers of children and other relatives and can become victims to gender based violence and exploitation. UKC4C has met and supported many women refugees and it is also a common thread that they will neglect their own physical and mental health to support their family.
Muna is a Palestinian refugee who is divorced and lives with her three children. Muna struggles to provide daily essentials for her children because of her financial situation and she has little support from family. Muna married young and was not encouraged to think about financial stability and independence because she had a traditional breadwinner. Without qualifications and also a terrible economy where even casual and short term labour is hard to find, Muna is reliant on charity. The Covid 19 Pandemic, lockdowns and Lebanon’s economic crisis have also caused food price increases, scarcity and limited support available. Every day is a worry for Muna who told us:
“I am ashamed to say I waited for Ramadan because I knew we would receive some help. Everyday I am unsure if I will have food for the next day.”
For Anoud, life is about constant stress and worry. She fled Syria with her children and her mother 10 years ago, and lives in Tyre. Their home is inadequate and unsafe, and Anoud is recovering from a stroke and has severe depression that makes it hard for her to work. Her son has leukaemia and her elderly mothers collects scrap metal and materials to make money for the family. The burdens on both Anoud and her mother are immense. Her daughters are growing up in poverty and there is a real danger that they might fall prey to early marriage or other forms of exploitation. Anoud was grateful for the financial aid you helped us provide and she told us:
“It really hurts me when my children ask for basic and essential need (dignity kits for girls) and I couldn’t afford anything”
Lockdown has meant that children have missed out on school and Anoud and Muna’s children have no laptop on which to continue their studies. This further disadvantages them as they will fall behind their peers.
Poverty limits every aspect of life for refugees like Muna and Anoud and what they can provide to their dependents. They are left extra vulnerable when host nations face economic crises or things like lockdowns and political unrest.
UK Care for Children are committed to supporting the most vulnerable that often fall through the gaps. We have developed projects and responses that address the specific needs of refugees when it comes to gender, age and disability and work to improve these.
Your support is vital for our work and to help women like Anoud and Muna who are facing the double burden of being women and refugees.
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