World Refugee Day

Empowering Rohingya women and girls through art

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh — To commemorate World Refugee Day, UN Women hosted “Awareness through Art” workshop at Balukhali, Camp-18 for women and girl refugees to enjoy their right to a life of dignity.

The event, held at UN Women’s Women’s Centre, incorporated art and awareness on gender equality in an interactive style so that Rohingya women and girls could express their ideas about what it means to be a woman. The Rohingya refugee participants were coached by female guest artists to illustrate their aspiration in artform.

Photo: UN Woomen/Zefroon Afsary
Photo: UN Women/Zefroon Afsary

According to Dilruba Haider, Head of UN Women’s Sub-Office at Cox’s Bazar, “activities of this kind which allows the refugee women and girls to explore and share their inner feelings about their own lives and hopes is important for the empowerment of refugee women, and for humanitarian agencies to learn more about the refugees that we support.”

In addition of the art workshop, an Open Dialogue was held at the centre, highlighting the myriad of daily challenges that are unique to refugee women. Participants discussed collective efforts that should be made to improve their well-being.

Photo: UN Women/Sakun Gajurel
Photo: UN Women/Sakun Gajurel

Participation and representation of women to express their needs and concerns are often overlooked in humanitarian emergencies. Leveraging women’s participation and leadership capacities is not only a way to ensure humanitarian efforts respond to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of affected communities – whether women, men, girls or boys- but also a strategic investment to build resilience of the whole community.

“I feel safe and comfortable here. I’m making many new friends! Our tent is small, hot and crowded; so I like coming here every day to participate in various activities,” expressed one workshop participant.

UN Women in Bangladesh is supporting the Government of Bangladesh with the Rohingya humanitarian crisis response. It has developed a humanitarian response programme in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and ActionAid to meet the specific needs of vulnerable and marginalized Rohingya women and girl refugees and the women and girls in the host communities affected by the refugee influx in Cox’s Bazar.

Media Inquiries:

Syeda Samara Mortada (English and Bangla),
Communications Analyst, UN Women Bangladesh
M: 0161 182 8015 | Email:

Zefroon Afsary
UN Volunteers, UN Women Bangladesh
M: 01755621516 |

About UN Women:

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.