Original Research

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

María López Belloso, Irantzu Mendia Azkue
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 2, No 3 | a24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v2i3.24 | © 2009 María López Belloso, Irantzu Mendia Azkue | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 April 2009 | Published: 25 April 2009

About the author(s)

María López Belloso, HEGOA Institute of Development and International Cooperation Studies (Bilbao) University of the Basque Country, Spain
Irantzu Mendia Azkue, HEGOA Institute of Development and International Cooperation Studies (Bilbao) University of the Basque Country

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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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