Jordan: Gender-based barriers prevent Syrian refugee women from realising their employment potential

Author: Camille Dupire, The Jordan Times, Published on: 10 September 2018

"Syrian refugee women still struggle to access employment — report", 6 September 2018

... A skilled seamstress from Daraa in Syria, Fatima said her age has been the greatest hindrance to her job search. The 59-year-old noted: "Maybe employers won’t let me work because I’m older; they worry I might get sick while I’m at work. I’m tired of sitting alone at my house. I need to work. It’s sad to see my talents fade as the years go by"... [W]omen have remained largely excluded from employment opportunities, both inside and outside the camps, an Oxfam report titled "Tailor Made" showed... Launched in April 2017, Oxfam's Lel-Haya project aimed to tackle this issue, providing vocational and soft skills training to Syrian refugee women who seek to enhance their employability and increase their self reliance. However, such programmes do not reduce women's many barriers to employment, as many of these trainees' experiences demonstrate. After the training, a job fair organised by the [ILO] and UNHCR at the Zaatari Office for Employment gave these women the opportunity to work at a garment factory based in Irbid, some 70km away from the camp. Despite great financial incentives, very few women signed up for the job, which Oxfam found to be due to a number of societal, technical and familial challenges, including childcare and family responsibilities...

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