450 Refugees and Displaced Women
Water and fuel
Refugee and displaced women often have limited water and
cooking fuel. Sometimes water and fuel must be collected away
from the camp in an unsafe area. Or the water may be unclean
and will make people sick if they drink it. All these problems
make women’s lives more difficult, because they are responsible
for washing and cooking for themselves and their families.
These things can help:
• Learn how to purify your water
(see page 155).
• Ask organizations that provide
support and aid for containers that
are not too heavy to carry water.
• Ask those in charge to patrol places
where water and fuel are collected,
to make sure they remain safe and
women can get to them. When
you go for water or fuel, go with
➤ Sexual violence
is a violation of
rape and sexual
Protection from sexual violence
Rape and sexual violence are common when people are
displaced. This happens because:
• guards, government authorities, and workers may demand
sexual favors in exchange for food, protection, legal papers,
and other help.
• if the area is too crowded, women may be forced to
stay with strangers, or even with people who have been
enemies. Women who are forced to stay among strangers
are in greater danger.
• male refugees, who have lost opportunities they had at
home, often become angry and bored. These problems
are made worse when men see women taking on new
responsibilities. Since men may have weapons with them,
they may act violently toward women. This is more
common if the men use alcohol or drugs.
• people in a nearby community may attack.
There are many ways to prevent attacks:
• Women should try to stay with family and friends. Single
women and girls without adults looking after them should
stay in a safe place that is separate from men.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012