The Female Refugee Experience in Central Ohio

Who did I speak to?

Women from all over the world. 

I conducted 6 interviews for this project. Each woman I talked to was from a different country: Bhutan, Iraq, Cambodia, Algeria, Eritrea, and Rwanda. 

Most of the women I talked to were in their forties or fifties. Only 2 women were in their twenties or thirties. 

The current level of education was generally a High School Diploma; 2 women had education beyond that. 

The majority of women in this study could vote and were excited to participate in American democracy. 

My questions generally focused on the differences in gender roles and discrimination between their home countries and Central Ohio. The following are comparisons the women made:     
My favorite question to ask was: what makes you proud to be a woman from _____? For the woman from Bhutan being the first daughter in her family made her proud. For the Iraqi woman being a descendant of the world's first civilization and the original people of Iraq made her proud. Others were proud of the immense strength shown by women of both the past and present in fighting for the rights of their people and gender equality. 

I also asked the women about how they have adapted to living in Central Ohio. I asked: Did they experience discrimination here? What is it like to work or go to school here? What did they struggle with? The answers I got varied, but they centered around 4 themes.    I want to know how I can improve the lives of refugees. I do not want to assume what they need most. That is why I asked these women: How can Americans provide better support? What is working? What should stop? Most of the women were happy with the support they received. However, they also indicated areas where improvements are needed. They want the following improvements:    In the remaining sections of part 1, I will give you context to the refugee situations in Bhutan, Iraq, Cambodia, Algeria, Eritrea, and Rwanda. I will also explain the experiences and roles of women in each country.  


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