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Hidden Struggles: Filling information gaps regarding adversities faced by Refugee Women in Europe

 
Refugee Rights Data Project, Immigrant Council of Ireland 
 
The European refugee crisis has reached unprecedented levels and this research report, Hidden Struggles: Filling information gaps regarding adversities faced by refugee women in Europe has uncovered the particular dangers and risks women and girls are facing. The research team was led by the Refugee Rights Data Project and conducted in partnership with the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Denise Charlton & Associates.
 
The team of researchers visited Greece in November 2016, meeting hundreds of refugees and speaking with dozens of women about their specific experiences. It was clear the women and girls who have endured treacherous journeys and are now living with meagre facilities in under-resourced camps face particular hardships including additional health risks, the risk of violence and child rearing concerns.
 
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the women interviewed for the research felt depressed and anxious most of the time. One in five women reported experiences of physical violence during the journey and nearly half the women we spoke with felt unsafe in the camps. They also faced challenges maintaining basic hygiene for themselves and their family and faced particular difficulties accessing contraception.
 
The report points clearly to the recommended solutions. There must be practical improvements to the Greek camps to make them more women-friendly, including improved safety features. Improvements must also be made to the healthcare available to women in the camps. And finally we need to call on our political leaders both nationally and within the EU to deliver policy changes to ensure the experience of women asylum seekers is improved throughout the process.
 
This means here in Ireland our relocation and resettlement initiatives need to be sensitive to the specific needs of women and girls. Once here, resources must be made available for local communities and the women themselves to ensure their needs are met. This means at the very least having available and accessible; gender specific healthcare, counselling services and effective structures of referral for gender based violence issues.
 
Click here to view the full report
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