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The Experiences of refugee women: findings from a community-based participatory research

Güler, Elif Tuğçe
This study explored the experiences of refugee women in Turkey by employing a qualitative methodology. The researcher was aimed to understand the experiences of refugee women by collecting data related to their vulnerabilities, resilience, and the role of gender. The semi-structural in-depth interviews combined with anecdotal records conducted with refugee women (n=7, M=23.71) who resettled in a small city in the Black Sea Region of Turkey. The interpretative phenomenological analysis was utilized with the help of NVIVO 12 program. Results indicated that refugee women were experiencing a tremendous amount of difficulties and issues that exacerbate their vulnerabilities. Despite all these hardships, refugee women were also found to have both internal and external resilience strategies to be empowered and bounced back quickly. While refugee women’s resilience enhanced by the coping, hope, spirituality, support system and the personal characteristics; It might be hindered by the role of traumatic experiences, living conditions, discrimination, and language-based problems. Refugee women also were found that the one who negotiate balanced positions between traditional-cultural norms and the outside world because of the emancipation. Even though refugee women were socio-culturally vulnerable; they were resilient in conflict-related situations. The findings suggest that if counselors, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations gain inside about resilience of refugee, they may implement a need-based plan to facilitate the adjustment process of refugee women.