Empowering Women, War Victims
Labor migration has long been an issue and a challenge. People leave their homeland in search of a secure income and in the hope of gaining more prosperity and a secure future – especially for their own children. Almost half of these job seekers are women. Many of them come from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Philippines and are looking for work in the Middle East.
The terrible economic crisis in Sri Lanka is driving more and more women out of the country, many of them to Jordan.
Few have an accurate or realistic idea of the living and working conditions that they can expect in Jordan This information is often not available or is deliberately withheld from the women. This often leads to major problems:
Fear, domestic violence, and abuse cause women to run away from the workplace. Passports visas and work permits are often taken from the women and kept by the employer and so the women – when they flee from the workplace to escape violence and abuse, have little or no money or their legal documents. In that case, they are in Jordan illegally. Often they seek shelter in the slums, and lose any connection with their family, with their husband and children, with parents and siblings in Sri Lanka. Problems with the police follow, sometimes prison and deportation, but always impoverishment.
The Salvatorian Sisters provide counseling, accompaniment, and care for migrant workers from Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and in the meantime a growing number of young African women, especially from Kenya, who mainly work as prostitutes.
It is real grassroots work. The sisters cannot eradicate the causes of flight and migration, but they can mitigate the negative consequences and seek solutions, and create and maintain better opportunities for women to have a dignified life.
In concrete terms, this is done through visits to homes, often slums, accompaniment to the police, to doctors, and visits to hospitals, shelters, and deportation prisons. Legal advice in cooperation with Caritas and other local organizations, food aid, children’s food, financial assistance in obtaining visas or air tickets, medicines, operations, school support for children, and organization of meetings.
How Will Funds Be Used
Funds will be used to support the women in need as described above. Medical aid and emergency measures are supported after each individual case is documented and considered. Occasionally limited funds are given to pay for visa fees or a return ticket to the home country.
Forced migration, violence against women, unemployment
#67 – Helping Women Refugees in Jordan Rebuild Their Lives