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Women Community Leaders, Key Actors to Promote Rights Among the World’s Most Persecuted Ethnic Group

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim community, had to leave Burma due to persecution. They settled in refugee camps in countries like Bangladesh and India. In New Delhi, the women’s work in coordination with humanitarian aid agencies is helping increase the schooling of Rohingya girls, combating child marriage and improving health conditions.

India is not the only place where women play a significant role within refugee communities. In fact, in Bangladesh, the Asian country where most of the Rohingyas have migrated, the importance of female community leaders has been extensively studied.

For example, a 2019 report by the International Organization for Migration lists 10 points that Rohingya men value in the role of women. Among them, they note that “they have good leadership skills and the ability to handle different demands of the community”.

Also in 2019, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) published a study in which it notes that promoting female leadership among Rohingya refugee communities in Bangladesh “provides promising models for transformative change.”