Middle East Mother, father, sister, brother: The roles of Syria's refugee women

The UN's refugee agency estimates that one in four Syrian refugee households in neighboring countries are headed by women, breaking with tradition in a patriarchal society. 

By , Contributor

Hussein Malla/AP/File

Before Syria's civil war began, Rabaa Ahmed was a housewife in Damascus taking care of three children and occasionally helping out with her husband’s cleaning-products business. Now she is among more than 145,000 Syrian refugee women thrust into the traditionally male role as head of household, providing food, shelter, and security for their families.