Lebanon: refugee woman empowered by her role as settlement supervisor
In Arabic, the word " shawish" has been used in Lebanon to refer to men managing foreign labour in farming and construction.
But since the onset of the Syria conflict and the influx of refugees into Lebanon, the word has found a new meaning. In informal tented settlements a " shawish" is as a refugee acting as the settlement supervisor and decision-maker. He (or she ) is the focal point with local organizations, officials and UN agencies. Shawish register the settlements with aid agencies, manages aid distribution and resolve conflicts between refugees. Most of the "shawish" are men. But a visit to the North of the Bekaa paints a different picture. There, women are in charge. Alya, a single woman in her 50s, was chosen as her settlement's shawish.