Title: The trajectories of refugee women from the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa; challenges and strengths

Authors: Oncemore Mbeve; Lindile Nontobeko Ngwenya

Addresses: African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), P.O. Box 76, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa ' Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract: The number of refugees globally continue to increase. In Africa, many refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) migrate through various countries to South Africa. Governments and humanitarian interventions, globally, put efforts to protect refugees. However, less attention is paid to refugees in transit. Using qualitative research approach, in this paper we explored the trajectories of Congolese women refugees; from DRC to South Africa, our attention was on their challenges and strengths - exhibited in their sexual and reproductive health rights, and access to economic resources. We conducted one-on-one interviews with 13 women and analysed the data using thematic analysis. Findings presented two parts of refugees' trajectories; before leaving DRC and migrating. Refugee women encounter economic and sexual health and rights challenges; nevertheless, they persevere. To fully protect human rights and economic needs of refugees, global governments, humanitarian interventions and research must pay attention to refugees in transit.

Keywords: DRC; human rights; humanitarian crises; humanitarian interventions; refugee women in transit; refugee women trajectories; sexual health and rights challenges; South Africa.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2021.10039050

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2022 Vol.7 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Received: 05 Nov 2020
Accepted: 10 May 2021

Published online: 23 Mar 2022 *

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