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Local Human Development in contexts of permanent crisis: Women’s experiences in the Western Sahara

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Author(s): María López Belloso | Irantzu Mendia Azkue

Journal: Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies
ISSN 1996-1421

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 159;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Sahrawi women are active agents in the social dynamics of the refugee camps, in which they have developeda number of coping strategies to overcome the hardships of a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Since the outbreak of the con#ict and the forced settlement in Tindouf, Algeria, women have been responsible for the entire management of refugee camps, assuming leadership roles in many sectors of society.This paper highlights the Sahrawi women’s contribution to the process of local human development in a context of protracted refuge such as the one in the Western Sahara. In addition to the enlargement of the refugee population’s capacities in relation to material and physical assets, social and organizational abilities, and motivational strengths, one of the major achievements of Sahrawi women has been their own individual and collective process of empowerment within the camp life.
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