International Women's Day: The RestlessBeings Women's Friendly Space
Rohingya women are doubly marginalised - experiencing unimaginable atrocities in Myanmar, including systematic rape, abduction, torture and seeing family members killed. Forced to flee and in a continued state of displacement, women and girls make up just over 50% of the population in the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, with one in six families being led by single mothers.
Although they are now safer from the violence they faced in Burma, Rohingya women continue to struggle with many suffering silently in the camps. RestlessBeings has interviewed countless women and girls in the last decade and gathered shocking testimonies of suffering ranging from being raped by the military to losing children as they crossed the border. They are dealing with immense trauma which continues into the camps with many cases of gender-based violence, child and forced marriages, and trafficking of women and girls into sex work overseas.
We already know that in emergency situations, humanitarian interventions cannot always be planned with gender dynamics in mind and the needs of those most under threat may not be adequately met. However, now with a million Rohingya in the camps, it is vital to ensure that as a humanitarian community, we adequately meet the needs of women and girls.
With your support and generous donations, the building of the RestlessBeings Rohingya Women’s Friendly Space is finally ready. A space that will be run by women, for women of all ages and with the needs, rights, dignity and safety of Rohingya women at the heart of all the services. This space will provide one to one counselling with advanced support for victims of rape, education, clothing, recreational spaces, bathing facilities, breastfeeding room, services for expecting mothers or those who have given birth, a garden and outdoor meditation space alongside many other things catered to ensuring Rohingya women and girls have access to what they really need during this difficult period for them.