Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, January 17, 2019 04:19:19 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Rohingyas' uncertain future

By
10th-Jan-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Sohara Mehroze Shachi :
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee women from Myanmar are currently living in the cramped camps along Bangladesh Myanmar border. Victims of sexual and physical violence in the Rakhine state, women have been disproportionately affected by this crisis and these women's perils are far from over in the host country as they continue to face multifaceted challenges.
On condition of anonymity, many Rohingya women interviewed in the camps said that sex work was rampant for camp-dwelling women, with local brokers supplying them to nearby apartments or hotels. Closure of security checkpoints at night makes it easier to undertake these illicit operations. Trafficking is also a major risk posing women and girls.
"A lot of girls are coming who have been separated from families. Many people say to them that they will help them but then these girls disappear," said Showvik Das, External Relations Officer of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh. While Bangladesh passed laws against trafficking in 2012, they are rarely enforced.
There are over 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers among the new arrivals who require targeted food and medical assistance. But hospitals with their limited capacity are struggling to meet their needs. Knowledge of contraceptives is also limited and their usage discouraged in the Rohingya community.
Religious sentiment is strong as women and men both cite pregnancy as "God's wish" and believe that God will help them feed and provide for their children. This is leading to their aversion to use birth control measures and very high birth rates in the camps.
"Rohingya women have internalized the idea that they need to have a lot of children because they need to save their race which is being persecuted", explained Dr. Lailufar Yasmin, a professor of international relations at the University of Dhaka, who is working in the refugee camps.
Rohingya women also have little or no reproductive rights because of cultural norms and because many were married off very young.
Because of the gender discrimination prevalent in Rohingya society and the prestige bestowed upon marriage, unmarried women are particularly vulnerable in the camps and many cases of Gender-Based Violence go unreported because the propagators are husbands. Moreover, some women and girls in the camps who do not have any male guardians are entering what are called "protection marriages" to avoid sexual assault from other males.
A majority of the refugees were married young (at 16 or 17) and while many of them would like to earn a living, only a few are doing so despite having skills, and also have reduced mobility due to prevailing patriarchal and conservative societal norms of the Rohingya population.
While many makeshift toilets have been set up in the camps, women and girls do not feel safe in sanitation facilities, because toilets are not segregated, are unclean and far away from their shelter. Most toilets also do not have any lights, and many women refrain from going to toilets at night due to risk of harassment and resort to open defecation.
Some refugees have put a tarpaulin border next to their kitchen space to shower, washing and bathing next to where they are preparing food. Health experts fear that these unhygienic living conditions could lead to outbreaks of disease.
"While IOM supports private wash and sanitation areas to provide privacy and safety to women in the Bangladeshi community, similar areas are under development in the Rohingya settlements but are hindered by the lack of space," said Olivia Headon, IOM's Information Officer for Emergencies.
In a Rapid Gender Analysis assessment conducted by Care in Balukhali Makeshift Camp at Rajapalong Union, Ukhiya Upazila, Cox's Bazar district, it was found that the community leaders among the refugees are all men.
The male children were enrolled in schools or madrasahs (religious educational institutes) in Myanmar whereas the girls typically did not attend schools. Those from affluent families who did were pulled out of school after grade 5, which contributes to increasing their dependence on male relatives.
Given their lack of education, Rohingya women rarely played decision-making or leadership roles but now they are having to do so. "Adult female refugees are outnumbering men, and many women whose husbands died during the military raids are now having to lead the families, which culturally they are not used to," said Showvik Das of IOM.
For female-headed households with small children and pregnant women who have lost their husbands, lack of education increases their overall vulnerability.
While Myanmar has recently struck a deal with Bangladesh to repatriate the Rohingyas who have fled violence in Myanmar, it will take a very long time to send over half a million refugees and many of them will inevitably end up staying in the camps for a long time.
In this context, Rohingya refugee women need significant interventions on water and sanitation, health, reproductive rights and protection from violence.

(The series of reports from the border areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh is supported by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). Courtesy: IPS).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Ensure ideal working atmosphere for women


THE bike of Shahanaj Akhter, who became a social media sensation recently for her struggle to maintain her family by offering ridesharing services, was recovered from Raghunathpur area in Narayanganj on early Wednesday hours after it was reportedly stolen. Police arrested a Masters student in English Department of Tejgaon College ...

Football »

Struggling Fulham sign Babel from Besiktas


Fulham signed former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel from Besiktas on Tuesday as the Premier League strugglers bid to bolster their spluttering attack and avoid relegation.Netherlands international Babel has joined Claudio Ranieri's side, who sit 19th and five points from safety, until the end of the season and could make his ...

Football »

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina receiving a football ( as a souvenir) from Senior Vice-President of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Abdus Salam Murshedy, MP, when a delegation of BFF led by its President Kazi Md Salahuddin met her at the Gono Bhaban on Tuesday night.


International »

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister


AFP, Paris :The European Union could push back the looming March 29 Brexit deadline if London made such a request, France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Wednesday."At the time of speaking, it's just a theory because Mrs May has never asked for it and neither has anyone in her ...

International »

Australian towns among hottest spots on Earth as heatwave sizzles


Australian towns were among the hottest places on Earth this week as a severe heatwave hit the continent's southeast, with forecasters warning of more record-breaking temperatures before the weekend.The past four days were among the country's top 10 warmest on record, with temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) ...

Entertainment »

Katrina Kaif disagrees with the term ‘item song’


Katrina Kaif has come a long way in the 16 years she has been a Hindi film actor - from being known mainly for her dancing ability, to her acting talent being proved by films such as New York, Rajneeti and Zero. On how this journey has been so far, ...

Editorial »

Don't waste public money in the name of development projects


A Bridge built 22 years ago over a canal at Chilarkandi village in Moulvibazar's Kulaura upazila remains unused as it has no approach roads. The incident may be cited as a bright example of lack of coordination among the relevant departments and total waste of public money. The 12-metre long ...

Sports »

Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska (left) is congratulated by Australia's Samantha Stosur after winning their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.


Sports »

Serena Williams returns to Australian Open with emphatic win


AP, Melbourne :Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, ...

International »

Iran satellite, that US was wary about, fails to reach orbit


AFP, Tehran  :Iran launched a satellite criticised by the United States on Tuesday but it failed to reach orbit, state television quoted the telecommunications minister as saying."The Payam satellite was successfully launched this morning with the Basir satellite carrier. But the satellite unfortunately failed to be placed in orbit in ...

International »

Model claiming Trump's 'Russia secret' goes to trial over "sex scandal"


AFP, Pattaya :A Belarusian model who sensationally claimed she had proof of Russian efforts to help Donald Trump win office appeared in court Tuesday for the expected start of her trial over running a "sex training course" in Thailand.Anastasia Vashukevich, known by her pen name Nastya Rybka, has been held ...

City »

Nepalese envoy makes farewell call on PM


Outgoing ambassador of Nepal to Bangladesh Prof. Dr. Chop Lal Bhusal and his spouse made a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office here on Tuesday.  Dr Bhusal thanked the Prime Minister for her government's support in discharging his duties in Bangladesh. He particularly recalled the support ...

Entertainment »

Apurba, Safa Kabir in Nazia Hasan’s story


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Safa Kabir and Apurba worked together as a pair in Valentine’s Day special play titled Tumi Bolley. Story of the play was written by Apurba’s wife Nazia Hasan Adity for the first time.Apurba and Safa played in roles of Aayan and Hridita respectively in this romantic story ...

Cricket »

Olivier sparks South Africa to sweep of Pakistan


Duanne Olivier sparked a Pakistan collapse as South Africa completed a series clean sweep with a 107-run win on the fourth day of the third and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.Starting the day on 153 for three, Pakistan lost their remaining seven wickets for 120 runs to ...

Sports »

Emotional Wozniacki launches Australian Open defence


Caroline Wozniacki fought back tears after launching her Australian Open defence with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium on Monday.The third seed won her maiden Slam at Melbourne Park last year but has since been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating auto-immune disease that has ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news