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In Jordan, Syrian Refugee Women Turn to Household Skills to Make Ends Meet

Because Jordanian law makes it difficult for Syrian men to find legitimate work, refugee women are employing their talents in cooking, sewing, and handicrafts to help carve out a living for their families, Iqtissad writes
In Jordan, Syrian Refugee Women Turn to Household Skills to Make Ends Meet

Syrian women have always been known for their determination and success in work, either in peace time as a housewife managing the house and raising children, or in war time facing displacement and trying conditions, where patience and resolve drive them to succeed, despite their circumstances.

Iqtissad met many women who run successful small businesses in Jordan who are able to secure an income to care for their families.

One of them, Umm Azzam, explained that restrictions on men’s job opportunities was an incentive for her to work in order to support her family.

Although she was not skilled in any particular field, widow and mother of five Umm Saeed decided to start a small tailoring and sewing project from home.

Umm Saeed said that she had improved her skills in sewing by attending courses, then she started her project with two second-hand sewing machines. She then passed on her skills to her children, giving each a job in making bed sheets, pillows and blankets.

Umm Ahmed, another Syrian woman in Jordan explained that she was not able to stay helpless while her husband failed to find a job after a long period of searching. She said that women's opportunities to find a job or start a small project are better as Jordanian law imposes a lot of restrictions on men’s work.

Sarah Shaheen, who runs a number of small projects, detailed that the reason for the success of Syrian women in small businesses is that they are involved in mostly professional projects that require particular skills, which Syrian women already know well, like cooking, sewing, crafts and knitting.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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