Scholar

Refugee Experiences Seeking Employment After Resettlement

By: Carrie Mc Cleese   Lisa Baranik  

The current study examines employment rates and predictors of employment among Syrian refugees currently living in Lebanon and Jordan. This paper argues that male and female refugees have different experiences seeking out employment after resettlement due to patriarchal structures and attitudes towards women that are present in the Arab Middle East. The goals of this study were a) to update employment rates among Syrian refugees and b) to examine predictors of employment among male and female refugees. Nationally representative data from 600 refugees and 1400 native-born individuals living in Lebanon and Jordan were used. Native-born individuals living in Lebanon and Jordan were 2.53 times more likely to be employed than refugees. Men were eight times more likely to be employed than women. Finally, attitudes towards women’s rights and roles moderated the relationship between refugee status and employment. Among native-born women, a positive attitude towards women’s rights and roles predicted employment status, whereas this positive relationship was not found for women refugees. Among refugee men, a positive attitude towards women’s rights and roles was linked to a lower likelihood of holding a job. These findings suggest that agencies supporting refugees should communicate realistic expectations about employment during resettlement. This study is the first study to identify attitudes towards women’s rights and roles as a predictor of employment among refugee populations and highlights the unique struggles that refugee women face.

Refugee, Syrian Civil War, Attitudes Towards Women’s Rights and Roles
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Carrie Mc Cleese

Associate Professor, Business Administration, Tennessee State University, United States
United States



Lisa Baranik

Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Albany, United States
United States