JRS Programs for Women and Girls
Displaced women and girls face a unique set of risks in comparison to their male counterparts.
In most societies, women face violence, discrimination, and abuse at disproportionate rates and being displaced exacerbates this problem. Social and cultural norms keep girls at home in varying refugee communities under the belief that boys have greater future earning potential. Religious and traditional values also discourage education and prioritize marriage, resulting in a high rate of child marriage and early pregnancy in some developing countries.
JRS believes that in order to ensure the wellbeing of refugee women and girls, it is necessary to develop a holistic understanding of the challenges they face. The solution that JRS provides to overcome and reduce these challenges consists of a comprehensive strategy including the following:
- Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) services
- Safe and gender -responsive learning environments at all levels
- Access to livelihoods opportunities
- Reconciliation between refugee and host communities and their local governments
Agents of Change
Khena gave birth four days prior to the BAC exams in Chad in 2022. After insisting she continue her education, she brought her newborn with her and joined joined JRS, UNHCR and partners’ compound to travel from Goz-Amir to Djabal camp to take part in the BAC exam in Goz-Beida.
While Khena participated in the different BAC tests, her baby was taken care of at the nursery provided by JRS
Nahida fled to Lebanon seven years ago with her four children and husband, two of whom live with her now in Nabaa’, an area close to the JRS Frans van der Lugt (FVDL) Social Centre in Borj Hammoud. She lost her 21-year old son in Syria and has been working with JRS programs to help herself heal.
She now takes regular livelihoods classes and actively encourages the women in her community to do the same.
Agnes was assisted by JRS through support groups and micro credits in 2020. It was there that she gained the confidence and self-sufficiency to start her own business. Determined to assist others in the same way, she decided to open a sewing shop in the refugee camp to support women victims of gender-based violence.
As a refugee in Malawi, Immaculée did not let the sorrows of her past dictate her hope for the future. She attended JRS’s Digital Inclusion Programm, run in partnership with Conexio, which provides in-demand, digital skills to young refugees to equip them with the technical knowledge needed to get jobs online and earn an income.
The same day Immaculée finished her course, she got a job. “Life changed completely”, she says.
Alla fled Ukraine with her two sons, aged 7 and 12, during the Ukraine crisis in 2022. After receiving support from JRS, she saw many other Ukrainian women coming through with children that she wanted to help.
She joined the JRS staff in Bucharest along with 12 other Ukrainian women, where she helps with language interpretation, welcoming refugees, and the facilitation of social vouchers.
Hazida was afraid to go to school during her menstrual cycle. The stigma attached to it combined with a lack of proper attention, care, and resources, makes it nearly impossible. Partnered with Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF, and the Chadian Ministry of Education & Professional Training, JRS Chad has provided the foundation for Menstrual Health Management (MHM) so that girls can confidently continue their education.
Attending school regularly now, Hazida has plans of becoming an educator herself.