Interview opportunity for World Refugee Day: displaced women in the Middle East

There are millions of displaced women in the states neighbouring Syria. What support do they need?

Half of the 68.5 million displaced persons around the world are women. Traditional gender roles and a lack of resources mean that women are often left as displaced persons in their own countries or else flee to neighbouring states without their husbands. This is exactly the situation in the countries neighbouring Syria.

In Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya and Turkey, many displaced women and their children live in refugee camps or host communities. These women have to provide for their families under the most difficult conditions. Social and economic discrimination is part of everyday life. They lack opportunities to earn a living and live in accommodation that does not meet their needs or those of their children.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH works with displaced women in the region. Initial and continuing training is a key component of the work: in Jordan, for example, GIZ trains Syrian women as plumbers. The training course pursues two aims. It is designed to create employment prospects for refugees and also helps overcome one of Jordan’s most serious problems – the poor water supply that results from water scarcity and badly maintained mains systems. So far, more than 100 Syrian women have been trained as plumbers and are now able to carry out expert repairs to water pipes and lay new pipes.

GIZ also works with displaced children and young people, including in Iraq and Jordan. GIZ supports training for sports teachers to help children and young people to come to terms with their traumatic experiences and build their self-confidence. Teachers learn to use sport as a means of preventing violence and tackling conflict and to provide psychosocial support. So far, 600 teachers have received in-service training, and a total of over 60,000 children and young people have benefited from improved sports provision. Half of them are girls, and the measure is designed to boost their self-confidence and equip them to manage their new environment proactively and self-sufficiently. 

What further ways are there of empowering displaced women and their children in the region?

Michaela Baur, Director General of GIZ’s Europe, Mediterranean, Central Asia Department and, until recently, Country Director in Jordan and Lebanon, will be answering these and other questions on 13 and 14 June 2019. If you are interested in a telephone interview, please contact the GIZ Press Office.