Life of a Female Refugee

March 22, 2021

In addition to our spotlight on the women of Duet, we need to include the most important women of Duet: Refugee Women. The word refugee refers to all people who take the perilous journey in search of better opportunities in a new, and far away place. Every refugee has a different story, and that is why Duet focuses on the transparency that comes with our donations. There are many different family dynamics whether it be someone who has traveled by themselves, with a spouse, alone with their child, or as an entire family. This week we will focus on the women who are a part of these family dynamics and how their life as a refugee may differ from the rest.

As seen on our site, Maryam came to Greece to escape pressure from the Islamic state and domestic violence. "In her home state, she was an established electrical and telecommunications engineer. She recently picked up the art of drawing, sewing, and learning English/Greek and goes to classes whenever she can."

Female refugees everywhere face similar struggles in the way their lives are uprooted and changed completely. These women are a pivotal part in understanding the life of a refugee due to the impact they have on the sustainability of a family. Most refugee families follow a more traditional dynamic with the women and girls in charge of supporting the family at home while the men and boys find work to financially support the family. The UN Refugee Agency works to give these women more opportunities to work on their leadership skills and education to better improve the overall well-being of the family. They also shed light on some of the hardships that these women face. “In some societies, women and girls face discrimination and violence every day, simply because of their gender. An ordinary task like collecting water or going to the toilet can put them at risk of rape or abuse.” With increased instances of abuse, it is important to separate the experiences of these women from the rest. 

While they flee the fighting and violence in their home country, it is common that many women still face the hardships of supporting their children on their own in refugee camps all over the world. The perilous journey consists of treacherous conditions that if a pregnant woman or a woman with a small child were to face, it could bring many complications. Once they have arrived at their new home, they must begin the process of rebuilding.

Fateme is a single mother who fled to Turkey from Afghanistan and then came to Europe in search of better educational opportunities for her and her son. "Her dream is to resettle in a quiet, accepting, and safe country and give her son every opportunity to become a successful student and play boxing. She would love to own a flower shop in the near future."

With new clothes and new health concerns, it is difficult for a woman to be comfortable with things like menstruation, mental health, and pregnancy. I often take for granted the options I have to make my life as a woman more comfortable with birth control, education, and the ability to be independent and in control of what my life consists of. These things come easy to me as a woman, and are at the forefront for many refugees to prioritize. Female education has been the focus of many global efforts whether it be climate change, economic turmoil, family planning, and many other societal issues. The more educated a refugee woman is, the better off their family will be for the future. 

Duet aims to support these needs. By being able to provide basic family care items such as diapers, children’s toys, and clothes, women are able to focus more on educating themselves and finding better opportunities to sustain their family in the long run. In Moria, the refugee camp we work closely with, many cell phones find their way onto the requested items page. They are more expensive than most items, but allow women of the family to make contact with other family members around the world as well as entertain their desires for education and integration to their surrounding communities. 

Sahar is a single mother of three from the Orozgan province of Afghanistan. Her children love to learn and she aims to give them the best future she can.

Even just one item can provide the difference for an entire family, so it is important to take a deeper look into what each individual may benefit from such an item. Female refugees are a backbone to the strength and communal aid needed in refugee camps all over the world! For a deeper look into the women we help, take a look at our families page to read about the lives of our female refugees.