Kawser and Mohammed met in a Rohingya camp here in 2018 after being forced to flee their homes in Myanmar. “She had seen me with my siblings and my mother, whereas I got to know her through my brother. I was too shy to introduce myself in person,” Mohammed, 25, said. “She was too pretty for me, and I was not sure if I could handle her beauty.”
They married and recently had a son at a UNFPA-supported health facility in the camp. “Because of my early age, I had to carry out eight recommended health check-ups,” Kawser, 20, said. “I had the strong support of my husband and mother-in-law, as well as the continuous help of midwives who welcomed me with a smile and a willingness to listen and help.”
She had participated in UNFPA’s Adolescents Young Mothers Programme, a series of eight sessions that educate women not only on spotting dangers of pregnancy and safe deliveries but on navigating new motherhood: maternal health, number and spacing of children, shared decision-making power in the family, the roles of husbands, wives and in-laws and the general well-being of families. The programme, which has helped more than 500 pregnant adolescents in two registered refugee camps and four health facilities, stresses the importance of involving families in supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights, so spouses and in-laws participate, too.
An empowered generation
Kawser’s mother-in-law, Nubarhar, noted the marked difference in her own experience. “I see a huge contextual and generational gap from my time in Myanmar as a mother and the time of my daughter-in-law in the refugee camps in Bangladesh,” she said. “She delivered in a health facility, and I am helping her in cooking and fetching water.
Jul 24, 2021Police and civil authorities in the Indian capital have demolished a makeshift mosque in a Rohingya camp, say the refugees, weeks after a massive fire had engulfed the settlement. The mosque, made up of tarpaulin sheets and bamboo sticks, was bulldozed at about 7am local time (01:30 GMT) on Thursday, at the camp located in […]