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Preventing sexual and gender-based violence against refugee women in the workplace: perspectives of African refugee women living in Durban, South Africa.

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To achieve its objectives, the study begins by exploring and examining the extent of sexual and gender-based violence against female refugees in working place. It analyzes various effects of violence on refugee, examine the coping mechanisms as well as interventions by different stakeholders. It examines the existing policy that protect women at workplace and how such policy includes refugee women in South Africa; while identifying government and non­ governmental organizations' programs and methods to prevent violence abuses facing by refugee in the professional environment; and where applicable their functioning, effectiveness, and applicability. In nature, this is a qualitative study. Snowball sampling methods were useful in the selection of participants. 15 refugee women from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, as well as Burundi took part in the study. Private face- to face interviews were concluded with 15 women volunteers among the study participants and 3, leaders of humanitarian organizations from which the refugees were selected and which help women refugees, to cope with this scourge The findings showed that gender-work violence suffered by African's refugee women is dominant in the workplace inside Durban. The results also revealed that gender-based violence facing by female refugees in workplace possesses negative impacts. Examining coping mechanisms adopted by refugee women, the findings have shown a range of strategies adopted by refugee women. They all however seemed less effective in dealing with the growing level of gender­ based violence at workplace. Exploring an existing policy that protects women in the workplace and how this policy includes women refugees in South Africa, the results showed that the South African policy regarding the protection of women refugee in the workplace is not effective. It does not protect the refugee woman in her workplace. This is why refugee women turn to humanitarian organizations. These organizations have already put in place certain methods and programs to assist refugee women to prevent them from being exposed to violence in the workplace.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.