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Gendered realities in displacement: The status of Syrian refugee women in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq


UN Women

Agulhas and its partner Mindset undertook a follow up study to UN Women’s 2018 regional research, published on the impact of the Syria crisis on women and girls. It included evidence on how the crisis has impacted their ability to access humanitarian aid, related to geographical location, age and nationality. The focus and priority of the research was on the refugee population in host countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

This briefing note provides the headline findings and recommendations from three country studies of the gendered realities of displacement for Syrian refugee women in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The studies investigated refugee women’s role, responsibilities and experiences in displacement, and particularly in the two years dominated by COVID-19 and economic crises.

The findings and recommendations are based on data from two quantitative surveys of nearly 600 Syrian refugee women in each of Jordan and Lebanon (1,155 women in total), nine focus groups with refugee women in Iraq (63 women in total), and key informant interviews in all three countries. An annotated bibliography, covering each thematic area and mapping contextual changes in the three countries was used to triangulate findings from the primary research.

The methodology used a feminist lens to gain insight into the gendered realities of displacement with regard to rights and legal status, economic security and livelihoods, women’s role in the household and community, safety and security and finally awareness and access to available services. Agulhas undertook the follow up assessment of the UN Women’s Gendered Realities of Displacement study in 2022, to provide an evidence base and better understanding of the selected challenges affecting women and girl Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. Each country report included findings and recommendations based on data from two quantitative surveys of 1,155 Syrian refugee women in Jordan and Lebanon, focus groups with refugee women in Iraq and key informant interviews in all three countries. The reports are now being used by UN Women to design programmes tailored to the needs of refugee women.

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