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Women in northwest Syria take on physically demanding jobs

Many women in displaced camps in northwest Syria have been forced to find jobs, often difficult and physical ones, due to the deteriorating security conditions and the absence of the family’s breadwinner.
Orphan Syrian children and displaced widows wait for food aid at El Ardiye orphanage, Idlib, on Nov. 26, 2021.

Years of war in Syria have left behind many widowed women who have been forced to become the breadwinners and enter the labor market despite not having educational or professional qualifications. Others whose husbands were injured or forcibly disappeared found themselves forced to work in difficult professions in exchange for a modest financial return that would secure their families’ basic needs of food and medicine amid poverty, lack of job opportunities, displacement and loss of the breadwinner.

“I did not expect that the harsh conditions would one day push me to engage in a profession reserved for men,” Karima al-Sheikh, 31, said as she mixed sand and cement to make bricks in a camp on the outskirts of al-Dana city in the northern countryside of Idlib. 

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