RESEARCH REPORT: Shifting Sands: Changing Gender Roles Among Refugees in Lebanon

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Roula El-Masri, Claire Harvey and Rosa Garwood
Western Asia

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.

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