145,000 Syrian refugee women fight for survival as they head families alone.

One quarter of Syrian refugee women caught in a spiral of poverty, isolation and fear.

What happens when life as you know it changes overnight? When your role as a mother, wife, sister, or daughter, suddenly shifts, and you become the carer for a family on the run? How do you cope when forced to plunge into a world that leaves you vulnerable and exposed, and struggling just to make it through the day?

Over the past three years, 2.8 million people have fled the civil war in Syria – nearly four in five of them are women and children. There are now 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq headed by women, a quarter of all Syrian families on the run. As their husbands and male family members have been killed, imprisoned or badly injured, many of these women now have to fend for themselves and their children. Isolated and traumatized, in severe poverty, they fear for the lives of their children, and the constant threat of sexual violence and humiliation.

Shaden, 25 years old and pregnant, is on her own in Lebanon with 3 small children. Her husband, parents and other relatives are back in Syria; she has no one to care for her children when she goes out to find food. "I'm all alone! If something happens to me, what will happen to my children?" It is a line she repeats over and over, like a mantra: "If something happens to me, what will happen to my children?"

In a war dominated by stories about men, the plight of Syria's women is often forgotten. Your support is crucial at this time and with a donation today we can help women like Shaden protect themselves and their families.

Syria is the largest forced displacement crisis in the world, and the number of refugees continues to grow. UNHCR is doing whatever it takes to provide critical relief to vulnerable Syrian women refugees and their families. We are working to cover crucial and basic needs such as ensuring shelter, healthcare, education and most importantly, protection. UNHCR and its partners offer training to equip Syrian refugee women with practical life skills, as well as financial assistance. Preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence are key priorities for UNHCR with psychosocial support, medical services, legal advice and support, as well as shelters and mid-way houses for survivors who need a safe place to live.

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