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The next Brown Bag Lunch series, which will focus on the challenges that Syrian refugee women face, will take place on Thursday at noon in Room 403 of the Women's Center. 

Struggles of Syrian refugee women to be discussed at brown bag lunch

The Women’s Center’s next Brown Bag Lunch will focus on the issues specifically facing Syrian refugee women.


The next installment of the Brown Bag Lunch series will focus on the specific struggles of Syrian refugee women.

This Thursday the Women’s Center will hold an event called "Challenges for Women Syrian Refugees."

“I would like us to think critically about the experience of being a refugee is gendered … and how gender analysis can help us better understand the context and dynamics Syrian refugees are struggling with,” Ziad Abu-Rish, an assistant professor in the Department of History, said in an email. 

Abu-Rish will be leading the conversation at noon Thursday in the Women’s Center Room 403. 

“We like to make sure that we’re planning events that include topics that are related to current events,” Sarah Jenkins, the program coordinator for the Women’s Center, said.

Jenkins said the topic has been a “hot button issue” that frequently circulates in conversations.

“I think the media definitely skews the conversation here (in the United States),” Taylor Rickey, a senior studying communication, said. “I think, maybe, there are some reasons to be wary, but I also think that these people are genuinely scared and need help. It’s not like the picture some people are trying to paint of all the refugees being in ISIS.”

Rickey said the idea of hosting a frank conversation about refugee issues is important, and she is glad that Women’s Center is covering something so relevant.

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“I plan to give attendees an understanding of the chronology, scale, flows and causes of what is considered today to be one the greatest refugee flows since the World War II,” Abu-Rish said in an email.

Both Abu-Rish and Jenkins hope the conversation can shed some light on the problems facing refugee women.

“I am committed to public engagement,” Abu-Rish said in an email. “The Syrian refugee issue is of incredible importance not only to those of us that care about the Middle East but those of us that are concerned with questions of social justice globally.”

Abu-Rish said he wants to bring an understanding of how deeply gendered the refugee crisis is.

“I’m hoping that the conversation humanizes this issue,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said there are even dangers of sexual assault and lack of OBGYN care.

“How do you even take care of your menstruation period when you’re homeless, traveling on the road and have no supplies?” Jenkins said.



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