"What of our unfulfilled promises?" 

Situational Assessment and Policy Brief on Syrian women refugees’ experiences in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

You are here:

Situational Assessment and Policy Brief on Syrian women refugees’ experiences in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq 

Published on

Updated:

Syrian Refugees living in iraq share their experiences, challenges and calls for action

2022 marks the twelfth year of the Syrian war – a conflict that has created one of the largest displacement crises in decades.

Nearly 260,000 Syrian refugees reside in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), each carrying the trauma of their flight while struggling to find basic accommodation and food on dwindling resources or debt.

Every refugee everywhere lives in need of some kind of support.

In our surveys and discussions with Syrian refugee women in the KRI, they overwhelmingly call upon the international community to support peace and to not forget them. In this report, we urge decision-makers, institutions, and stakeholders at the global, national, and community levels to listen to Syrian refugees - especially women - who ask not to be forgotten amidst the war that displaced them over a decade ago and the aftershocks of the recent war in Ukraine creating so many more refugees like them. 

Women for Women International have been working with Syrian refugees living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2017. Over this time, we have provided socio-economic training and space for community building as durable solutions to address displacement and heightened economic insecurity.

In May 2022, Women for Women International spoke with 112 women in three refugee camps in the KRI (Basirma, Darashakran, and Kawargorsk) via surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews. The objective of these conversations was to better understand their current experiences and primary challenges, identify any promising support mechanisms, and to listen to their self-articulated hopes for their future.  

Stop the wars and create an environment where children can be innovative and live in peace for brighter future.

One overarching message emerged: What feels like a forever war must not become a forgotten war.

It’s not too late to listen and act

Recommendations for action from Syrian women refugees in KRI

Women for Women International have been working with Syrian refugees living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2017. Photo: Emily Kinskey
Women for Women International have been working with Syrian refugees living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2017. Photo: Emily Kinskey

This report makes recommendations that are directly derived from the voices and lived experiences of Syrian refugee women. Their top recommendations call for: 

  • Peace 
  • Meaningful Participation 
  • Transparent and Expedited Resettlement 

They also identified priority areas for actions to address: 

  • Economic Challenges 
  • Education Challenges 
  • Mobility, Security, and GBV Challenges in Camps 
  • Healthcare and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Access Challenges

Beyond acting on these specific recommendations, policymakers and advocates alike must maintain urgency around addressing the long-term impact of the Syrian war on Syrians – wherever they are in the world. 

Learn more

The amount of forcibly displaced people has reached a staggering number—over 100 million according to UNHCR—and the number only continues to increase. This World Refugee Day, learn about the state of refugees today.


blog

Between December 2021 and February 2022, we conducted phone surveys and interviews with our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Programme participants and graduates across Afghanistan, as well as with Afghan women’s rights activists and organisations. In their own words, Afghan women share their hopes and fears. Read the report.


As the Syrian civil war enters its tenth year, women and children continue to be hit the hardest. Learn how we partnered with local organisation with Women Now for Development to launch a training programme to support internally displaced women in Idlib, Syria.


blog