On the 20th of June, we recognised World Refugee Day. There are 22.5 million refugees around the world today, and half of them—some 11 million—are women and girls.

The average length of displacement is now 17 years or more. Entire generations born and raised in refugee camps, and spend a significant portion of their lives as refugees.

Humanitarian action needs to offer long-term solutions that protect and advance women’s rights, provide opportunities that help them thrive, and shape equal, just and more peaceful societies.

UN Women works with millions of people who have left their homes, loved ones and life as they knew, fleeing violence, persecution or disasters. UN Women stands #WithRefugees.

Join us in supporting refugee women and girls around the world in their journey to safer futures. You can Donate Now to make a real difference.

Step into the World of a Syrian Refugee

Refugees face a daunting task, no matter where they begin their journey. The perils they face in the environment, lack of resources, and vulnerability to human trafficking, makes every step a risk. Many take immediate refuge in neighbouring countries, as in the case of millions of Syrians finding sanctuary in Lebanon. Follow one family of urban refugees as they navigate their new reality after a harrowing flight from Syria.


Six Essential Objects for Refugee Women and Girls

Today, 50 per cent of refugees uprooted from their homes from conflict, persecution or natural disasters are women and girls. This translates to more than 11 million refugee women and girls. During times of crisis, their specific needs and voices are often neglected. There are six essential objects that give women and girls agency and secure their health, dignity and rights.

The first item is a razor blade- not for a close shave, but to cut the umbilical cord when a child is born in a refugee camp.

Razor blade: not just for a clean shave, but a life saving tool to cut umbilical cords.

What else can UN Women provide to women and girls in times of crisis? Click here to see the six essentials »



Photo Essay: “I want to live in peace.” Maha in Za’atari: “I hope that my daughters find inspiration in my story.” Kole in Uganda: “The group gave me hope and courage to live again.”
In the makeshift Rohingya camp at Balukhali, Cox’s Bazar, it’s common to hear stories of burned homes and missing children.

“Women need support from each other to cope with this crisis,” says Noor Nahar. “If the women who are new get support from us [at the centre], they can support each other better.”

View the photo essay »

Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, a Syrian refugee, came to the UN Women run women’s centre in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp with severe depression after her husband passed away. She received counseling and found tailoring work through the cash-for-work programme. The women’s centres in Za’atari Refugee Camp are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs.

Read more about Maha’s new livelihood »

Pasca Kole is a 42 year-old refugee woman from South Sudan living in the Pagirinya Settlement in northern Uganda. In July 2016, when the war reached her village in Pagere county, South Sudan, Kole escaped, along with her three children aged 14, 7 and 3 years. She was eight months pregnant at the time, expecting her fourth child. It was not an easy journey.

Read more about Kole finding a new community »

On World Refugee Day, we need to be aware of the unique ways in which women and girls are affected by displacement and disaster. Click here to read more stories of women refugees and migrants.