How can refugee women in Turkey be included in decision-making processes?

A Migration seminar by Bilge Sahin and Irem Sengul
Assistant professor
Assistant Professor in Conflict and Peace Studies
Assistant professor
Dr Irem Sengul
Assistant Professor in International Law Dr Irem Sengul
Tuesday 13 Feb 2024, 12:00 - 13:00
Spoken Language
Hybrid Room 3.39 and Teams
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In this Migration seminar, Dr Bilge Sahin and Dr Irem Sengul explore the potential for feminist engagement and the inclusion of refugee women in decision-making processes within Turkey, home to the largest refugee population globally.

They argue that a lack of participation of refugee women in decision-making processes related to refugee policies and projects, both at the international and national levels, poses significant challenges in addressing the unique needs and aspirations of refugee women and recognizing and empowering their agency. 

Their study explores the potential for feminist engagement and the inclusion of refugee women in decision-making processes within Turkey.

Given the Turkish government's adversarial stance to gender-related matters, they investigate opportunities for involving refugee women at the policy level, examining refugee women’s committees and cooperatives which promote refugee women’s participation in decision-making processes. While committees function as platforms where refugee women gather periodically to discuss various challenges they face, cooperatives facilitate the participation of refugee women in the economic domain to support their socio-economic empowerment. 

In their research, the speakers explore the potential of these initiatives in promoting refugee women’s participation and map out legal and political spaces to bring these platforms from the periphery to the centre by examining the role of the UNSC Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda. Although Turkey has yet to adopt a national action plan for the WPS Agenda, doing so could promote refugee women's involvement in decision-making processes. Additionally, existing initiatives like refugee women's committees offer a space to discuss and introduce the WPS Agenda in Turkey. 

The research integrates the practices of refugee women with feminist international policies to formulate improved policies in Turkey. it is grounded in primary qualitative data collected in Turkey, where the speakers conducted interviews with various stakeholders, including UN agencies, international and Turkish NGOs, and state institutions.

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Governance of migration and diversity MA track
Migration and diversity research theme

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