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Discussing gender equality in Jordan can lead to difficult conversations, as Balqees Shahin, a volunteer for the UN Women gender equality campaign HeforShe, has discovered. Marking International Day of The Girl Child on Monday, Ms. Shahin told UN News that online games can help young people to address gender issues.
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures, UN Women is providing urgent support, information and essential services to more than 5,700 Syrian refugees in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps.
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Deep within the rural community of Karak lies the town of Taibeh, where 39-year-old Mona Ahmed Alqkla, found a safe place for her family seven years ago after fleeing the conflict in Dara'a, Syria. She had never found an opportunity to work, until now. She recently joined the incentive-based volunteer programme as a tailor in the Oasis Centre in Taibeh, which was launched by the Ministry of Social Development in partnership with UN Women in March 2019.
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At 50, Fatima Alhaj has finally found the confidence to overcome the pain of her past. A Syrian refugee living in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan since 2016, she regained her sense of purpose after joining UN Women’s Incentive-based Volunteer programme as a literacy teacher, where teaching and writing are her catharsis.
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Falha Abrabo arrived at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan after fleeing Syria in 2012. Shortly thereafter, her husband had a severe stroke, which left her in the position of becoming the sole provider for her family. She found a livelihood opportunity teaching adult literacy sessions to other women through the incentive-based volunteer programme at UN Women’s Oasis Centre, which builds women’s resilience and empowerment.
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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. As refugee crises become more protracted, humanitarian assistance must take into account immediate and long-term needs of women and girls. The women’s centres in Za’atari Refugee Camp are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs.
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More than 5,000 Syrian women and girls visit ‘Oases’ safe spaces in the Za’atari camp per month, and several hundred have independently earned incomes through UN Women’s work programme in Jordan.