Refugee women face unique risks and challenges, including finding means of supporting themselves and their families. Globally, nearly all economic indicators show that women are worse off than men and this economic marginalization can be intensified by violence and displacement. This combination of challenges harms women and limits their ability to safely generate, control and use economic resources.

To better assess and respond to the unique needs of refugee women, the International Rescue Committee, with grant support from BlackRock, embarked on a two-year research and implementation program in Niger, Kenya and Germany.  

The initiative explored, developed and implemented new means of providing refugees and displaced populations with critical skills, relevant and secure jobs, and methods of integration into their new host-country communities.

The IRC designed contextualized interventions with a focus on women’s access to the labor market and the goal of strengthening refugee engagement in growth sectors. Despite barriers due to COVID-19 across all three national contexts, the IRC teams report an increase in economic employment either through job placement or sustained business operations following the program intervention.

Our Impact in Numbers: 

Dialog and Reflection:

In April 2022, an event was held to highlight the outcomes of the initiative and partnership, with a focus on lessons learned and data-driven best practices for designing and implementing economic empowerment programs in refugee communities. Drawing on that research, a wider conversation was catalyzed around what economic empowerment looks like for women impacted by conflict, crisis and displacement,  and  how  these  insights  inform  policies  and programs moving forward.

Speakers Included: