Factors influencing vulnerability of women in refugee camps: The case of Dadaab refugee camp; Garissa County, Kenya
The purpose of the study is to explore the factors influencing vulnerability of women in Dadaab refugee camp. Women consist of over 60 percent of the total population of this world's largest refugee camp and are perceived as the most vulnerable and marginalized group within the camp. research has the potential of providing involved or ganizations and institutions, whose mission is to protect people from the harmful repercussions of refugee crisis, with pertinent information that will aid in reducing the magnitude of difficulty faced by refugee women and so reducing the unnecessary burden of life for these women. Furthermore, the study will also provide future researchers with a useful pool of resources. Although refugee women issues have been addressed in the developed world and in some of the developing countries, not many studies have been done within the Kenyan context. Many Non- Governmental Organizations led interventions have brought women issues to people's consciousness and some short term measures to alleviate women's problems have followed. However despite these interventions women continue to suffer. The objectives of the study is thus to determine the influence of culture, level of education/awareness, law enforcement mechanisms, availability of opportunities on the vulnerability of women in Dadaab refugee camps. This research also reviews the pertinent literature that underpins this study from the global, African and local perspectives and also offers a conceptual framework and indicates the knowledge gap that the study intends to fill. The mixed research approach was employed; it consists of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The study adopted a Cross-Sectional design which allows the researcher carry out the study in natural, real life settings and to ask a random sample of individuals to respond to a set of questions about their backgrounds, past experiences, and attitudes. Oral interviews were also employed. Study findings revealed that culture, level of education/awareness, law enforcement mechanisms and opportunities influences the vulnerability of women in Dadaab refugee camp. The study recommends that the needs of refugee women must be incorporated into all stages of refugee life, including in the granting and documenting of refugee status, and in the organization of refugee camps. The governments of states that accept refugees must modify their refugee protection system to account for persecution based on sex and gender, and must make the documentation process available to women. In the refugee camps, international relief agencies and large donor-coordination organizations, specifically UNHCR, must require that the Guidelines are followed and that women's rights are protected.