World Refugee Week 2022

World Refugee Week is celebrated every year to honour the resilience of refugees worldwide – women whose courage, strength and hope enable them to rise above their circumstances and not only heal but to rebuild.

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World Refugee Week

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A record number of people have been forced to flee their homes

1 in 5 refugee or internally displaced women have faced sexual violence

100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide for the first time in history

90% of the refugees from Ukraine are women and children

The power to rebuild

Honouring the strength and resilience of women refugees

World Refugee Day on 20th June and World Refugee Week (20th-26th June) are marked every year since 2001 to honour the strength and resilience of refugees around the world. 

With women often suffering the brunt of displacement – from being subjected to sexual and gender-based violence as they flee their homes and occupy camps, to being responsible for rebuilding the lives of their families and communities after conflict – the challenges women refugees face are immense.

Please consider supporting our work by making a donation to help women survivors of war heal from the trauma of war and rebuild their lives. The need is greater than ever, and now is the time to step up.

Stories of strength and resilience

Syrian refugees in Iraq

Since 2017, we have been working with Syrian refugee women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) to empower them with the knowledge, skills and support they need to rebuild their lives after the devastation of war.

Watch this video to meet two strong and inspiring refugee women from Syria: Zubeida, our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations programme graduate and Nermin, who works for Women for Women International in Iraq.

There are 6.9 million people displaced within Syria. Nearly 70% of this population is women and children, now forced into surrounding areas, some in camps where resources are scarce and weather conditions harsh. Photo: Alison Baskerville
There are 6.9 million people displaced within Syria. Nearly 70% of this population is women and children, now forced into surrounding areas, some in camps where resources are scarce and weather conditions harsh. Photo: Alison Baskerville

5 FACTS ABOUT WHAT REFUGEE WOMEN FACE

Gender specific challenges of the refugee experience

Refugee women and girls face specific challenges including discrimination, psychosocial trauma, sexual and gender-based violence and risk of human trafficking.

Art therapy is helping women fleeing Ukraine heal from the trauma.
Art therapy is helping women fleeing Ukraine heal from the trauma.

The Healing Power of Art Therapy for Women Fleeing Ukraine

Working with our partner Bereginia to support Ukrainian refugees

The lives of millions of people from Ukraine have been shattered by the Russian invasion - but thanks to the healing power of art therapy, women still have hope.

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.
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. Photo credit: Alison Baskerville.

“WHAT OF OUR UNFULFILLED PROMISES?”

SITUATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND POLICY BRIEF ON SYRIAN WOMEN REFUGEES’ EXPERIENCES IN THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ

Syrian refugees living in Iraq share their experiences, challenges and calls for action.

Help her heal

When war and insecurity take hold, women bear the heaviest burden of violence, poverty and inequality.

Help women survivors of war heal from the trauma of war and build brighter futures for themselves and their families.

Learn more

As the global refugee crisis has reaches a record high, it is crucial now more than ever to understand the obstacles facing refugees. This World Refugee Week, we have put together a list of seven must-see movies that provide an insight into the refugee experience and their powerful stories of survival.


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Shireen

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Unable to find work as a refugee, Shireen desperately wanted to learn a new skill that could help her provide for her family. Shireen learnt how to sew, but she gained more than the ability to make clothes: she learnt about her worth and value as a woman.


In recent years, refugee literature has provided a way of educating the public about the truth behind the refugee experience. Women for Women International believes that knowledge is power, so check out our World Refugee Day Reading List to grow your awareness and understanding of the refugee experience for your own personal reading and to share with others.


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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.


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It has been 100 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. With each day that passes, more and more women are at risk of sexual violence. Olena Behnke fled from Ukraine two months ago. She now works for Women for Women International, supporting other women refugees. Read her blog as the war continues. 


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Meet six incredible refugee women - from Syrian activist Waad al-Kateab to actress and singer Marlene Dietrich - who have used their power to make a difference.


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