Venezuela: women refugees, different faces same stories
Caracas, 19 April 2011 – There are more than 200,000 refugees in Venezuela. Of this figure only 16,000 have applied for refugee status, and only a mere 2,700 have been recognised by the government. Often fleeing violence, losing their family members, homes, and leaving behind their lives, refugees face many obstacles upon their arrival in new countries. In the case of refugee women, many often find themselves as heads of households due to the all too common occurrence of losing their partners prior or during their flight from their home countries. While the women in this story may be physically, culturally and ethnically different, their stories are of the similar tragic circumstances: they fled threats and violence in Colombia. Yet, having left everything behind, they are forced to rebuild their lives in the midst of many difficulties refugee applicants face: lack of ID papers, unemployment and marginalisation.