Can Women's Cooperatives be a Solution for the Empowerment of Syrian Refugee Women?

Cılızoğlu M. D.

no.özel sayı-2023, pp.57-73, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Indexes: Asos İndeks
  • Page Numbers: pp.57-73
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper offers a critical reflective analysis of multiple dimensions of refugee women’s cooperatives with a reference to the concepts of material and non-material precarity. As a result of integration policies towards increasing the refugee population in Turkey, the number of international and national support programs for Syrian refugee women in Turkey has increased. As one of the important outcomes of these support programs, women’s cooperatives are seen as a solution to assist Syrian refugee women. In the light of growing literature on Syrian refugee women’s participation in the informal labor market, this paper scrutinizes the possibilities and arguments for the empowerment of Syrian refugee women over three selected cooperative projects. This paper explores the role of cooperatives and their potential to enhance Syrian refugee women's working and living conditions, ultimately leading to empowerment, from a gender perspective. For this purpose, different dimensions of the cooperatives are discussed such as the ambiguous use and measurement of the empowerment discourse, non-material precarity that Syrian refugee women experience, and the type of gendered work provided for women in cooperatives. Keywords: Syrian Refugee Women, Women’s Cooperatives İn Turkey, Empowerment, Rights-Based Approach, Gender Perspective.