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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Iraqi Refugee Women Living in Jordan, A talk by former CWGS student, Rawan Arar

Mon, November 8, 2010 • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM • CPE 2.212

Rawan Arar

Rawan Arar

Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, Onions, Tea, Bread, and Sometimes Tomatoes: Economic Conditions Among Iraqi Refugee Women Living in Urban Areas of Jordan

Iraqi Refugee Women Living in Jordan

By Rawan Arar


This study explores economic conditions among Iraqi refugee women living in urban areas of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through open-ended interviews. The research aims to address coping mechanisms Iraqi refugee women use to adapt to their financial situation. The goal is to review the proactive efforts women make to turn family units from traditional consumers (buying goods) to producers (making goods) in order to find financial stability.

The study incorporates three overarching themes: First, it establishes Iraqi refugee women’s financial status by surveying economic security and employment opportunities. Second, the study investigates how living in urban areas of Jordan affects Iraqi women’s economic status. Thirdly, the study explores how Iraqi refugee women approach their financial situation. How have Iraqi women taken steps to exercise control over their financial lives and improve their economic situation as refugees?

The objective of this project is to promote women’s empowerment by creating an open dialogue about Iraqi women’s struggles and to highlight the steps that women take to improve their situation. The study suggests steps that can be taken to aid Iraqi refugees.



Rawan's Bio:

Rawan Arar grew up in San Antonio, Texas were she attended Churchill High School. She completed her BA in Sociology in 2008 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with minors in Legal Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. During the spring of 2008, she interned in DC as a Congressman Bill Archer Fellow for the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2009, she moved to Amman, Jordan as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. There, she researched economic conditions among Iraqi refugee women living in Jordan and filmed a corresponding documentary. Rawan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 with an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Sponsored by: Center for Women's and Gender Studies

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