REFUGEE WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SELF-RELIANCE? Evidence from Uganda
This qualitative study focused on refugee women’s economic empowerment in Uganda, a country known for its progressive refugee policies built upon the notion of self-reliance. While one of the aims of the self-reliance approach is empowering refugees, there is a gap in the literature addressing the impact of self-reliance on refugee women, who constitute the majority. The data was collected through triangulation of methods combining policy document anlysis, semi-structured interviews with NGOs and government officials and focus group interviews with refugee women. The findings indicate that although self-reliance is an excellent approach in theory that aims to empower refugees and provide them with basic rights and dignity, there are obstacles hindering the success of self-reliance including; insufficient funding, shortage of land and not reflecting on the complex situation on the ground. The findings also lead to a speculation that implementation of a gender specific approach would be a successful measure to promote refugee women’s economic empowerment.