Analysis of Empowerment of Refugee Women in Camps and Settlements


Krause, Ulrike. 2014. “Analysis of Empowerment of Refugee Women in Camps and Settlements." Journal of Internal Displacement 4 (1): 29–52.

Author: Ulrike Krause


This article analyzes the empowering impact that refugeeism can have on women, a largely neglected area of research. In the past, the academic discourse of refugees’ identity reveals a clear trend towards homogenization, objectification, and victimization. Refugee women are still seen as disempowered passive victims. Considering that most refugees are caused in patriarchal societies in the global south, this article presents the idea that forced displacement can break patriarchal patterns because refugees renegotiate and redefine gender relations while in camps and settlements which could lead to women’s empowerment. This argument is made after an extensive review of literature on refugee identity, differing camp and settlement structures, and the discourse about actions that can disempower or empower refugee women. In order to move beyond assumptions, this paper relies on concrete empirical research of national policy analyses and a field research case study of Rhino Camp settlement in Uganda. A review of this research will show how displacement can both challenge and reinforce traditional gender roles and will focus on the potential for empowering women in this context.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2014

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at