As a result of protracted displacement of refugees in Jordan, host and refugees’ communities experience a heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence with women and girls disproportionately affected and difficult to reach. In addition to sexual harassment, honour crimes, polygamy and child marriage are on the rise.
Cases are underreported, psycho-social support (PSS) services are stretched and difficult to reach, women are often socially and economically isolated.
This project is part of a long-term engagement of ActionAid with both refugees and hosting communities in the target area, situated in Zarqa and Mafraq, which host a large number of Syrian refugees.
The present funding gap (until March 2021) is around 60,000 CHF.
The project will directly reach an estimated 560 people, while approximately 5,100 members of the community will benefit indirectly from the action.
What ActionAid is doing is to educate young women and men on how and why VAWG is perpetrated and develop action plans to combat it. They design and conduct local activities that are adapted to the local context.
Women and girls have the opportunity to share their stories and have the support they need in “safe spaces”. They are encouraged to become leaders in their communities.
The project also engages existing local groups, training leaders and developing material that can be re-used to train others, investing in peer-to-peer education.
Together, they advocate with local authorities and government officials to introduce policies and laws to end sexual harassment and gender inequality and create safety for women in public spaces.
The project will reach out to women through community-based organisations, providing professional PSS support, and creating sustainable livelihood opportunities in small scale agriculture projects and in non-traditional employment sectors.
“No, I’m not alone.
Working on the “Promoting Safe Cities and Gender Responsive Public Services for Women” project liberated me from several constrictions. During one of the project activities women were encouraged to tell their stories about facing sexual harassment. This was a very important moment for me, for it was the first time I revealed my own story. I have been sexually harassed as a child, and ever since, it’s been a burden I carried around for years, I only got rid of it when I talked about it. It was watershed for me, I realised I wasn’t alone when I heard other women speak about their experiences, there were others suffering as I’m! It’s silence that creates walls surrounding and making us feel alone with our suffering. But it’s not true, revealing is the first step towards freedom of this prison and thinking of individual and collective solutions.”
Reem Khasman, Project Coordinator – "Nisaa"
Women protection action groups took the initiative on April 28th, 2019, to renovate three schools in Zarqa. All students received awareness raising on communication skills., communication within families, and gender based violence.
Are you interested in this project? Contact us to learn more.