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Reproductive practises: Kurdish women responding to patriarchy

2011-07-01
Him, Miki Suzuki
Hoşgör, Hatice Ayşe
This is an interpretive study of reproductive practise among Kurdish rural-urban migrant women in Van, Turkey. Van is one of the eastern provinces where Kurdish-speaking population is concentrated and high fertility persists despite the rapid fertility decline in the country. In order to explore the social dynamics behind the divergent fertility trend, this paper examines women's reproductive experiences in a migrant neighbourhood from a feminist perspective. Women and men in the studied neighbourhood have experienced considerable socioeconomic insecurities resulting from the destructive mass displacement in the 1990s. In an environment of insecurity, women's access to public spaces and reproductive healthcare was considerably hindered. This paper argues that Kurdish migrant women's enduring high fertility can be closely related to the form of patriarchy reconfigured in a way to minimise women's autonomy which is essential for the exercise of reproductive rights. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.