In focus: World Refugee Day

A Rohingya woman refugee stands in a refugee camp in Bangladesh after fleeing violence in Myanmar. Photo: UN Women/Allison Joyce
Photo: UN Women/Allison Joyce

Infographic | Video | Photo essay | Top stories | Social media | Take action

World Refugee Day is on 20 June. There are 22.5 million refugees around the world today, and half of them—some 11 million—are women and girls.

UN Women Statement for World Refugee Day 2018

On World Refugee Day, UN Women calls on the global community to ensure that the global compact on refugees provides the services, protection and resources that all refugees need, addressing the rights of all. Read more►

The average length of displacement is now 17 years or more, with entire generations born and raised in refugee camps, and spending a significant portion of their lives as refugees.

Humanitarian action needs to offer long-term solutions that protect and advance women’s rights, provide opportunities that help them thrive, and shape equal, just and more peaceful societies.

UN Women works with millions of people who have left their homes, loved ones and life as they knew, fleeing violence, persecution or disasters. We stand #WithRefugees.

Join us in supporting refugee women and girls around the world in their journey to safer futures.

Six essential objects for refugee women and girls

Razor blade: not just for a clean shave, but a life saving tool to cut umbilical cords.
Bucket: Not just for the Ice Bucket Challenge,  but a means to fetch water

Today, 50 per cent of refugees uprooted from their homes from conflict, persecution or natural disasters are women and girls. Take a look at some of the objects that give women and girls agency and secure their health, dignity and rights. See more►

Video: A Syrian refugee in Lebanon – UN Women’s second virtual reality film

On World Refugee Day, step into the world of urban refugees, and follow one family as they navigate their new reality after a harrowing flight from Syria.

Photo essay: "I want to live in peace"

Women’s mobility is an important factor to consider within the camp. Traditionally, Rohingya women are expected to wear a burqa when leaving their home or shelter. In the camps, women often share a burqa among themselves to access public spaces. Some have to wait for their turn to borrow a neighbour’s burqa to even step outside their shelter.
Photo: UN Women/Allison Joyce

Rohingya women in Bangladeshi refugee camps, the scene of one of the world’s fastest growing crisis, share stories of loss and hopes of recovery. Read more►

More stories

Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, 48, Syrian refugee woman enrolled in the UN Women’s cash-for-work programme as tailor in the ‘Oasis Center for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls’ operated by UN Women in the Za’atari refugee camp. Credits: UN Women/Lauren Rooney

From where I stand: “Always rely on yourself”
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 work through the cash-for-work programme. The women’s centres are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs. Read more►

Members of women’s therapy group meeting in Pagirinya settlement share stories and support one another. Photo: UN Women/Aidah Nanyonjo

Resilient and empowered, South Sudanese refugee women find new beginnings in Uganda
More than one million South Sudanese refugees have crossed over the border into Uganda since 2013. Along with immediate assistance, they need long-term support, including therapy to cope with trauma and opportunities to earn a living. UN Women-supported therapy groups in one refugee settlement have helped women come together, heal and discover new beginnings. Read more►


Social media

Help us raise awareness about the needs and realities of women refugees! Show the world that you stand #WithRefugees via our social media kit that can be found here, available in English, Spanish and French.


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