This paper examines gender and enterprise in fragile refugee settings. Building on previous research in Afghanistan, it analyses refugee women's evolving economic lives and enterprise initiatives and related social dynamics in refugee communities. Case studies look specifically at two Islamic refugee contexts: Nairobi, Kenya (Somali refugees), and Irbid and Zarqa, Jordan (Syrian refugees). The discussion spotlights the precarious nature of refugee women's new practices and work norms under forced and strained circumstances, without a process of negotiation with male family members. In the case of longer-term refugees (Somalis), it describes new collective agency among refugee women, boosting support for new practices. The paper reflects on emerging gender roles and relations in such hostile conditions, particularly as men remain excluded and struggle for their own identity and authority. In addition, it draws attention to the gap relating to refugee men and policymaking, and highlights ways to address better their needs for refugee resilience, inclusion, and local integration.

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International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Ritchie, H. (2017). Gender and enterprise in fragile refugee settings. Disasters, 42, S40–S60. doi:10.1111/disa.12271