UN Women Statement For World Refugee Day

UN Women

Conflict, socioeconomic instability, and humanitarian crises continue to force millions of people to flee their homes. By September 2023, 114 million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced. For women and girls, these massive displacements often result in severe violations of their rights and the loss of their livelihoods.

Empowering women and girl refugees, along with those in host communities, and ensuring their access to social protection systems, livelihoods, and educational opportunities must be at the forefront of refugee response plans and multistakeholder partnerships. These initiatives can transform not only the lives of women and girls but also their communities.

UN Women statement for World Refugee Day

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UN Women is operational on the ground where women and girls need us the most. We are dedicated to investing in the resilience and leadership of displaced women and girls, collaborating with national and local actors, including women-led organizations and refugee women’s groups. As examples, in Moldova, we work with refugee women on economic empowerment initiatives. In Uganda, in partnership with civil society, UN Women offers mental health and psychosocial support services for refugees in settlements. In Cameroon, we work with women who dropped out of school and married early before fleeing violence by Boko Haram in Nigeria and who are now able to support their families, mentor other women, and organize community support groups to enhance resilience. In Jordan, in partnership with the Government and civil society, through the Oasis programme, we provide crucial cash-for-work, skill development, and early childhood services to Syrian refugees and Jordanian women, including women with disabilities. In Cox’s Bazar, since 2018, UN Women has helped strengthen the leadership, livelihoods, and life skills of Rohingya women, including through establishing a market for them to sell their products. In Guatemala, UN Women co-chairs the Protection Cluster with UNHCR ensuring that the protection risks, including gender-based violence, faced by forcibly displaced persons are mitigated and addressed.

The women we work with across these contexts demonstrate the potential for every woman and girl refugee to transform their lives and communities.

UN Women calls upon governments and partners to recognize the rights of women and girl refugees and invest decisively in their future. This includes ensuring their safety, mental health, education, housing, healthcare, and safe, legal pathways to seek asylum. It means ensuring that refugee women play a meaningful role in decision-making processes that impact their lives and are able to contribute to sustainable, inclusive solutions that help them realize their full potential.

UN Women is unwavering in our commitment to creating a world where all refugee women and girls enjoy their rights and lead lives of their own choosing.

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