The Invisible Lives of Syrian Women and Overcoming Challenges to Employment, Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Syrian crisis has been ongoing for 6 years now with 5 million refugees.
Session focuses on Syrian refugees. The conflict has produced the largest refugee crisis. But we don’t hear much from women despite being 50% of the refugees. Female refugees are at greater risk of gender based violence (GBV) as refugees
Regional director of Refugee Women in Arab States
Report: The invisible lives of Syrian Women.
Livelihoods and barriers- looking for work in Lebanon and Jordan. But there is very little available
GBV – vulnerability that Syrian women face – esp. in the refugee camps.
Education – over 500,000 children alone in the region are out of education.
Funding – gaps. Livelihood sector is the most underfunded.
Need to work with host nations to provide support to small enterprises and businesses. Women need skills training and start up business grants. Women need access to work permits.
Need to avoid lost generation of Syrian children. There needs to be non formal education programs.
Structural challenge – patriarchal society in region. Lowest statistics for women’s access to legal services, education, politics and highest with violence against women
Emerging Challenge – conflict in Syria – exacerbates the structural challenges
Look into the notion of dignity. In the refugee camps money for work is given – but this is still seen as recipient of aid (charity)– they need to be supported to be able to independently support themselves. Women find themselves in unfamiliar places – previously she was familiar with the rural scene and how to navigate life – then she moves to a new setup that she can’t navigate. WE need to resource women to be more adaptable
Work with entrepreneurs in host countries to recruit Syrian women who are refugees
Deal with India to buy $5 mobile phones and put on Block chain technology. Allows credit and financial systems on a mobile phone. She can prove that she has managed financial transactions and credit in the past
Medical Doctor – panelist
How do we go beyond the survival of women who are refugees? – its not just food, water and sanitation. How do we restore dignity? Place women in a position where they can make decisions for their lives and make the changes that they want.
Syrian is a protracted emergency – its no longer just an acute emergency. We need to work from a resilience framework and build in preparedness.
Young girls experience double marginalisation as they are both girls and have a young age.
Increase of inter-personal violence and family violence as a result of men unable to cope with the stress of the situation.
Survival Sex to support themselves. Increase of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS
Adolescent girls being forced into early marriage. This is often a coping mechanism in the community as a way to protect their girl child.
- Manage risks better
- Foster individual’s resilience through education and health
- Enable realisation of sexual reproductive health and rights
- Prepare governments in times of disaster to cope with refugees
Lutheran immigration and refugee centre – panelist
Multi faith initiative to see the risks to women and girls in Jordan, Lebanon and turkey – Childhood interrupted report: http://lirs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LIRS_Childhood_Interrupted_2016.pdf
There is also a report from Save the Children in Syria on children : https://i.stci.uk/sites/default/files/Invisible%20Wounds%20March%202017.pdf
Intergenerational crisis as girls out of school now wil be further removed from the formal job economy as they grow up.
International Partnership on religion and sustainable development
How to prevent violent extremism with FBO’s (40 at present) and intergovernmental (17 at present).
The partnership has existed for one year now. – they are currently mapping the FBO’s across the region.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
- Reflections for IHQ disaster preparedness work
- Working collaboratively with other faiths where we don’t have a strong presence
- Importance of research and learning from reports prepared by other organisations