Posted by: solerueda | March 18, 2011

Regional Dialogues in Jordan wrapped up

The fourth round of the dialogues for women and girls is well under way in Uganda, while the Jordan dialogues are wrapped up. We look back on those:

“Life is hard, but at least we are safe. I still feel like a stranger here but at least I have a home.” These were the words of one refugee who took part in the third Dialogue in Amman, Jordan, alongside some 80 other Iraqi, Somali and Sudanese women and over 50 refugee men. Jordan has shown immense generosity by opening its doors to a large number of refugees. Whilst all participants were grateful for having been let into the small country, which has its own internal challenges, they also described the multiple problems they face. Many felt caught in a negative downward spiral.

Discrimination and abuse, especially towards children, were highlighted as particular concerns. Refugee women said they felt watched and refugee men felt that whilst they had to be on high alert, they were often powerless when they or their children were beaten or abused.

Paticipants said that lack of money and access to work permits made them dependent on the limited financial support they receive. This narrows the choice of housing to sub-standard, unhealthy rooms and multiplies their health and family problems: domestic violence, aggressive behaviour, and depression. Medical issues were highlighted as a particular challenge, given the high cost of treatment for everyone in Jordan.

During this exercise, different colored balls of wool were used to demonstrate that human rights are interlinked and form a strong network of protection for every human being. Each color represented a specific human right.

This Dialogue gave refugees the time and space to air their problems thoroughly and to propose solutions. Being heard over a period of five days provided a sense of relief and a feeling of recognition to refugees who often feel alone and simply do not know where to turn for help. Many expressed the hope not only for good health and a future for their children, but also for a chance to contribute to the country that is so generously hosting them.


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