Shifting Sands: Changing gender roles among refugees in Lebanon | Refugee | Gender Role

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 44
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report
Category:

Others

Published:

Views: 5 | Pages: 44

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Related documents
Description
The conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis, with almost two million people having fled to neighbouring countries in the hope of escaping the violence. Thousands of Syrian refugees continue to enter Lebanon each week, putting increasing pressure on the ability of host communities and aid agencies to provide them with support. The situation has created intense levels of stress for refugees, as in many cases they are forced to take on new responsibilities at odds with their traditional gendered social roles. In order to understand these changing roles, Oxfam and the ABAAD-Resource Centre for Gender Equality conducted a gender situation and vulnerability assessment among Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon. The findings are presented in this report, which aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the gendered impact of the Syrian conflict and subsequent displacement on refugees now in Lebanon. The report concludes with detailed recommendations for development and humanitarian practitioners and donor agencies, to help them design and implement gender-sensitive programming that addresses these shifting gender roles and helps to minimize stress and tensions among refugee populations (at individual, household and community levels) and between refugee and host communities.
Transcript
  JOINT RESEARCH REPORT SEPTEMBER 2013 SHIFTING SANDS Changing gender roles among refugees in Lebanon A family sit in a temporary shelter in an abandoned shopping centre, Tripoli, May 2013. Oxfam / Sam Tarling ROULA EL-MASRI ABAAD-RESOURCE CENTER FOR GENDER EQUALITY CLAIRE HARVEY and ROSA GARWOOD OXFAM GB The conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis, with almost two million people having fled to neighbouring countries in the hope of escaping the violence. Thousands of Syrian refugees continue to enter Lebanon each week, putting increasing pressure on the ability of host communities and aid agencies to provide them with support. The situation has created intense levels of stress for refugees, as in many cases they are forced to take on new responsibilities at odds with their traditional gendered social roles. In order to understand these changing roles, Oxfam and the ABAAD  –  Resource Centre for Gender Equality conducted a gender situation and vulnerability assessment among Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon. The findings are presented in this report, which aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the gendered impact of the Syrian conflict and subsequent displacement on refugees now in Lebanon. The report concludes with detailed recommendations for development and humanitarian practitioners and donor agencies, to help them design and implement gender-sensitive programming that addresses these shifting gender roles and helps to minimize stress and tensions among refugee populations (at individual, household and community levels) and between refugee and host communities.  2 Changing gender roles among refugees in Lebanon CONTENTS Executive Summary ...................................................................... 3   1   Introduction .............................................................................. 8   2   Scope and Methodology of the Assessment ........................ 10   3 Findings and Analysis .............................................................. 13   4   Conclusion .............................................................................. 34   Notes ............................................................................................ 37   Acknowledgements ..................................................................... 42    Changing gender roles among refugees in Lebanon 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Syrian conflict has resulted in approximately a million people fleeing to Lebanon 1    –  equivalent to nearly 25 per cent of the Lebanese population of 4.2 million. 2  Despite the efforts of the Lebanese authorities, generous Lebanese citizens, UN agencies, and international and national aid organizations, this overwhelming influx of refugees has created intense stresses, as refugees find themselves having to take on new roles and responsibilities that are often at odds with their traditional gendered social roles. Many refugee men are experiencing severe stress and feelings of powerlessness because they are unable to fulfil their traditional role as family provider and protector, while many refugee women and girls no longer have access to the resources and services they used to have in Syria before the conflict began, which enabled them to fulfil their traditional gender role. In order to understand these changing gender roles, Oxfam and ABAAD  –  Resource Center for Gender Equality carried out a gender situation and vulnerability assessment among Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon, which involved over 150 people. Qualitative research was conducted using focus group discussions and individual interviews with key people and individual refugees in March and April 2013. The aim was to explore people‟s experiences  of how their gendered social and economic roles are changing, and the negative and positive effects these changes are having on their lives. The areas investigated included: changes to gendered norms, values and identities; changes in people‟s physical safety and emotional well-being; changing gendered control over resources; and gendered access to aid and basic services.  Although the research provides useful insights into their experiences, the limited number of interviewees means that it not a comprehensive picture and offers only a snapshot of the situation for Syrian refugees or Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Being a rapid impact assessment, the fieldwork was conducted in less than ten days. While this research did not address the problems faced by host communities, many poor Lebanese men, women and children are also feeling the effects of the Syria crisis, which has had a devastating impact on the Lebanese economy. This report presents the findings and analysis from the assessment. It aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the gendered impact of the Syrian conflict on refugee women and men, girls and boys. It concludes with detailed recommendations for development and humanitarian practitioners and donor agencies to help them design and implement gender-sensitive programming that addresses these shifting gender roles and helps to minimize stress and tensions among refugee populations (at individual, household and community levels) and between refugee and host communities. The recommendations look at the ways that those involved in the humanitarian response can work more effectively together on programmes that focus on gendered identity, gender-based violence and protection, employment and income generation, housing and rent payments, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and education, and children‟s rights.    4 Changing gender roles among refugees in Lebanon KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS Changes in gendered norms, values and identities Patterns of mobility and life styles have changed, and, in part as a result of this, both women and men have been forced to redefine core aspects of their identities. As well as losing their traditional role as breadwinner, men seeking jobs and services also often face threats and discrimination from some members of host communities. Many women reported feeling that they have lost their femininity as, in addition to caring for their families, they now have to support them by going to the market, running errands, making decisions, and working in paid informal employment. However, for some other women this has created an increased sense of empowerment. Changes in levels of gender-based violence, protection, and emotional stress Families fled Syria because they feared for their lives, yet for many, their safety and security remain under threat. Despite generous assistance from most Lebanese communities, many respondents reported experiencing xenophobia, discrimination and hostility.   Protection and security Lower self-esteem among refugee men because of the crisis has, in some cases, led to a negative expression of masculinity. Violence towards women and children has increased as some men vent their frustration and abuse their power within the household. Outside the household, there are also examples of women and girls who are vulnerable to physical and verbal harassment, including sexual harassment, and in many areas they fear kidnap, robbery, and attacks. Widowed or other women on their own are particularly vulnerable, with some pretending in public to receive phone calls from their former husbands, to protect themselves from male harassment. Early marriage  Although early marriage of daughters was common practice in Syria before the conflict began, this is reportedly also being increasingly resorted to as a new coping strategy, either as a way of protecting young girls or easing pressures on family finances. Freedom of movement For many women respondents, mobility in Syria before the conflict was very limited, as they were only allowed to leave the house with the male head of the household‟s permission and when accompanied by men. As refugees in Lebanon, their movement is still restricted, though principally because of insecurity and fears of harassment or attack. Living in overcrowded conditions means that many women are no longer able to go into a different room whenever men who are not relatives come to visit male family members, as they would have done before. Now, if an unrelated man visits the household, women go to their female neighbour‟s house until a man separates the room with bedsheets. Women can then stay behind these bedsheets so that they are not seen by the visitors. Stress and anxiety Stress and anxiety will inevitably affect all refugees who fled the conflict in Syria. However, how this manifests itself, and how refugees express and deal with these anxieties, is highly gendered. Many are suffering because they have no one to talk to about their worries. Many men feel they cannot meet society‟s expectations of them as men.
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks