Employment for Refugee Women

A resettled Rwandan refugee at work

Achieving self-sufficiency is critical for the success of refugees in the United States. As such, all adult refugees (18-64) who are able to work should make finding employment a priority. As refugees start to navigate employment in the United States, it is important to be mindful of the factors that can contribute to their success. Refugees come from a wide range of countries, bringing with them different cultural norms and expectations, as well as varying levels of prior work experience, education, and language ability. It is important to be sensitive to these factors, and to be equally aware of possible opinions (which may be strongly held) about the employment of female family members and about women working alongside men in the workforce.

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All refugees need to make finding and keeping a job a priority for the financial health of their families and themselves.

  • There are both challenges and solutions to employment for all adults in a family.
  • Employment of refugee women may change family dynamics and influence the cultural adjustment process for the whole family

After this lesson, refugees will be able to:

  • Describe why it’s important for all eligible employable adults to seek and obtain employment, regardless of sex.
  • Articulate at least four advantages of refugee women seeking and obtaining employment .
  • Identify two to three impacts that gender has on refugees seeking and obtaining employment.
  • Determine potential challenges that refugee women who work might face and begin to identify tentative solutions.
  • Scenarios (as selected) 
  • Employment for Refugee Women fact sheet (1 per participant) (optional), podcast, or video
  • Projector for video (optional) 
  • Post-it notes 
  • Flip-chart 
  • Markers