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WASH and Vulnerabilities: Addressing the Needs of Displaced Women in the European Migration Situation

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posted on 09.10.2020, 14:16 by Jeanne Lorraine M. Vidal
At the end of the summer in 2015, a spike in attention in international media covered widely the journey of the refugees and migrants who crossed armed borders and dangerous seas with a motive to search for a new beginning in life after fleeing conflicts and persecutions. Amongst all the migrants and refugees compressed, together in a small boat were women, who were mothers with young children and for some were pregnant. This research investigates the challenges and vulnerabilities that the women, especially for pregnant women, experienced in relation to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) during their journey to and upon arrival in Europe. The research also provides an insight to WASH practitioners as to how they can intervene with these challenges in complex situations such as the migration situation in Europe. To identify the WASH needs and interventions for the displaced women with young children in this situation, one must consult the women to understand the extent of the challenges that they experienced in relation to WASH with consideration to the routes that they chose for their journey. It is also necessary to observe their current health condition (whether it is by physical and/or psychological conditions) of the women. Therefore, understanding these factors, as well as the cultural and socioeconomic background of the beneficiaries, is vital in providing effective and efficient WASH services for displaced populations in a different type of emergencies.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)