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Celebrating Women's History Month

In recognition of Women’s History Month, I wanted to give a shout-out to women who have propelled and brought awareness to the refugees. 

Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State in U.S. history during the Clinton presidential years became a force in the American government.  Born in Prague and the daughter of a Czech diplomat, her family fled to London when Hitler invaded during World War II. She was just 11 years old when she arrived to the United States and dedicated her life to improve the status or refugees and asylees. 

Gloria Estefan, a seven-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter was born in Havana in 1957. When the communist dictator Fidel Castro assumed control in Cuba, her family fled.  She and her band had a number of hits. Estefan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 for their musical work and contributions to Latin American culture.

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American ever elected to the U.S. Congress, arrived in the U.S. as a refugee when she was 12. She fled Somalia due to the war. Rep. Omar was sworn into office in January 2019, making her the first African refugee to become a Member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress.

According to the  United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR),  women and girls make up around 50% of any refugee, internally displaced or stateless population, and those who are unaccompanied, pregnant, heads of households, disabled or elderly are especially vulnerable.

"In some societies, women and girls face discrimination and violence every day, simply because of their gender. An ordinary task like collecting water or going to the toilet can put them at risk of rape or abuse," UNHCR writes.

For more information see these sources: 

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