The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies initiated a project entitled “Measures to Integrate Women Refugees in the Society in Cyprus and to Promote a multi-cultural society”, which was supported by the European Refugee Fund, of the European Commission.

Aim and Objectives

The aim of the project was two fold: a) to empower and support women refugees, through workshops, information seminars, and Greek language courses in order to assist their social integration into the local society in Cyprus and b) to promote a multicultural, tolerant, diverse environment on the island through seminars offered to women from all communities in Cyprus and intercultural evenings.

The immediate objectives of the program were:

1. To contribute towards the empowerment of women refugees on a personal and social level

2. To encourage the integration of women refugees into the Cyprus society through the dissemination of detailed information and knowledge.

3. To provide women refugees with information regarding their rights in Cyprus related to employment, welfare, education, health and other governmental and non-governmental bodies.

4. To provide basic Greek language courses to women refugees

5. To raise awareness among women and men from all communities in Cyprus about refugees in general and women refugees in particular, their problems and needs in order to promote tolerance and understanding

6. To raise awareness about multicultural societies through interactive activities, discussions and practical tools for intercultural learning.

Activities

The project was concluded in June 2005 and encompassed the following activities:

  • Publication of leaflets
  • Weekly training seminars to women refugees
  • Seminars to Cypriot women on refugees and their rights and needs
  • Greek language courses to women refugees
  • Intercultural evenings
  • Final social event
  • Establishment of a network with local and European organizations

Beneficiaries

The project targeted women refugees, living in the non-occupied southern part of Cyprus today. Taking into consideration the large number of women refugees in Cyprus the need for sustained support was crucial. The phenomenon of refugees and influx of immigrants is a relatively new and growing phenomenon in what was commonly perceived as a homogenous society and thus the society as well as the authorities are clearly unprepared for such changes. Women refugees in Cyprus face isolation, lack of support and representation, misunderstanding, assault, abuse, language barriers, lack of secrecy, lack of access to employment.

Final Project Report available below:

ERF Final Report

For more information contact Josie Christodoulou on ++357 22 351 276, ext. 115 or josie@medinstgenderstudies.org