Challenges Faced By Refugee Women
Prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care is essential for any pregnant woman, and migrants are no exception. However, there can be implications in the planning and delivering effective maternal health services. Refugee women might refuse to seek or can face barriers to such care due to unfamiliarity with the healthcare system in the new country, financial setbacks, acculturation stress, violence in refugee camps, post-migration experiences, trauma, physical health, lack of knowledge, dependency on the family to take care of them, and language barriers.
Most of the refugee women have limited knowledge of the local language and the healthcare system of the host country (Dumont, 2022). They are not well-versed in the services offered in the new healthcare facilities and how they can benefit from them. Besides, refugee women seeking medication face communication hurdles. Differences in languages make it difficult to initiate strong rapport between the women and healthcare givers.
Compared to the host population, refugee seekers are at higher risk of poor healthcare and financial hardships. A recent survey by Baumann & Kelly (2022) showed that the financial resilience of Ukrainian women refugees reduced significantly just a year prior. Insufficient financial resources limit their access to healthcare. This impels them to depend on their family remembers to take care of them, often leading to compromised choices and a lack of autonomy.
Refugee women are susceptible to lasting psychological and acculturation stress. They experience post-traumatic stress disorder related to displacement from their home, war, and persecution. As they go through acculturation, refugee women are exposed to reduced health status, including social, somatic, and mental aspects. According to Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (2022), acculturation increases the risk of obesity and related non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes due to psychological and environmental stressors.
As Daley (2022) states, Ukrainian women refugees are fleeing war, but in some cases, more violence awaits in the places where they seek safety. In some instances, female refugees face gender-based mistreatment like rape and physical assault in refugee camps. This subjects to negative post-migration experiences, mental trauma, and declined physical wellbeing.
To sum up, it is evident that women refugees are the most vulnerable group. For example, they face challenges when seeking maternal health services, which expose them to various reproductive health issues that may lead to fatalities or severe health complications. They are susceptible to myriad challenges that need urgent discourse and intervention.
Baumann, M., D., & Kelly, S., (2022). Ukrainian Women Refugees are Not Financially Resilient. Here’s Why. Women World Banking. Retrived from https://www.womensworldbanking.org/insights-and-impact/ukrainian-women-refugees-are-not-financially-resilient-heres-why/#:~:text=Our%20research%20showed%20significantly%20decreased,in%20the%20next%2030%20days.
Daley, B., (2022). Ukrainian female refugees are fleeing a war, but in some cases more violence awaits them where they find shelter. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/ukrainian-female-refugees-are-fleeing-a-war-but-in-some-cases-more-violence-awaits-them-where-they-find-shelter-179754
Dumont, J., (2022). How to communicate on the Ukrainian refugee crisis and build on the support of host communities? OECD. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/ukraine-hub/policy-responses/how-to-communicate-on-the-ukrainian-refugee-crisis-and-build-on-the-support-of-host-communities-db78fd32/
Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (2022). Acculturation and Health. Refugee Health TA > Prevention and Wellness > Acculturation and Health. Retrieved from https://refugeehealthta.org/prevention-and-wellness/acculturation-and-health/#ref5CLICK HERE TO PLACE YOUR ORDER