Millions of Rohingya Muslims that fled massive-scale violence and ethnic cleansing back in Myanmar are currently living in makeshift settlements of Bangladesh refugee camps. However, their lives to date are miserable, particularly for Rohingya women the living conditions are unimaginably worse.
In the Bangladesh refugee camps, thousands of Rohingya women continue to lead unsafe life with a high risk of gender-based violence and other gruesome crimes such as molestation, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Read below to know how Rohingya women suffer a great deal at the hands of criminal gangs and militant groups.
Issues Faced by Rohingya Women
As violence and the competition for controlling Rohingya refugee camps soar between the military group and gangs, the lives of thousands of Rohingya women continue to become more and more challenging. Most Rohingya women are particularly threatened and abused for acquiring education.
Furthermore, the Rohingya women are held back from being outspoken and getting awareness regarding women’s rights in order to keep them suppressed under patriarchal norms. The majority of Rohingya women recall being molested, attacked, and kidnapped by men belonging to militant groups or criminal gangs.
Most Rohingya women are restricted to work outside their homes due to the unsafe environment, leaving them without any means to earn a decent income for improving their living standards.
Facing threats of sexual violence, abuse, and other acts of gender-based violence has become a norm for thousands of Rohingya women living in refugee camps. Apart from this, most Rohingya women are also subjected to human trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation that include rape and sex slavery.
Last but not the least, the super limited availability of resources and inadequate sanitation is another challenge faced by the Rohingya women. The lack of access to quality health care services and sanitary products makes life quite challenging for thousands of Rohingya women as they are bound to suffer a great deal.
Gender Policies in Action
Almost all Rohingya women are either victims of or witnesses to various acts of gender-based violence that include oppression, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. In order to end this culture of constant fear and routine violence against Rohingya women, UN Women has collaborated with the Bangladesh police. Since 2019, the UN Women has assisted the Bangladesh police in safeguarding the vulnerable Rohingya women against violence.
Typically in the Rohingya community, women and children hesitate while conversing with any man outside their family. This became a huge problem as women were not ready to come out and take help from male police officers. As a solution, with the assistance of UN Women 60 female police officers were deployed and Rohingya women started coming out with their accounts of gender-based violence in order to seek help.
Another great policy set forth by the UN Women in order to fight the challenges of Rohingya women is the launch of 5 help desks within the last 3 years with financial aid from the government of Germany, Australia, and Japan. At these 24/7 operating help desks, survivors and victims of gender-based violence are provided with essential services such as Rohingya emergency healthcare and mental counseling.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many Rohingya refugees are women?
From the very start, the Rohingya refugee crisis had a very gendered nature. An estimated 52% of the population of the Rohingya refugees consists of women and girls.
Why aren’t women’s rights helping Rohingya women?
Women’s rights are not significantly helping Rohingya primarily due to the fact that Rohingya is a refugee population that was forced to flee their homeland and sought refuge in various regions of the world. In a world, where women’s rights are already a neglected topic, who would care about the rights of refugee women?
How are women treated in Rohingya refugee camps?
The living conditions of particularly Rohingya women are truly unbearable. They are subjected to every kind of gender-based violence along with heinous crimes such as rape and human trafficking. The risks of discrimination against Rohingya women and girls are elevated to the point where they are no longer safe.
Just for a second close your eyes and imagine fleeing ethnic cleansing just to land in another pile of problems that include some horrific crimes ever known to mankind. Just the imagination will send shivers down your spine however, this is the everyday reality of thousands of Rohingya women residing in Bangladesh refugee camps.
Multiple initiatives by UN Women have been taken in order to safeguard the rights of vulnerable Rohingya women. However, if you wonder whether you can contribute to making life easier for these women let us tell you, yes you can!
In case you hear the plight of thousands of Rohingya women and you are passionate about helping your Muslim sisters you can come forward and donate to us under Rohingya donations.
Our Rohingya donation project has been delivering life-saving essentials to the refugee camps along with making access to water easy for Rohingya refugees in order to ease the lives of Rohingya women by taking the burden of fetching water off their shoulders. You can become a part of this project by wholeheartedly donating funds for this cause!