This article examines whether incorporating the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda of the United Nations Security Council into the international refugee regime may give refugee women greater potential to participate in decision-making processes. In addition to recognizing the need to protect women in conflict settings, the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda also promotes women’s participation in order to achieve sustainable peace. The article focuses on Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees globally. The article explores the extent to which the protection and participation of refugee women in Turkey are balanced in the activities of national and international actors, and it advises adopting a national action plan on refugee women in line with the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. We conducted qualitative research and carried out a field study in Turkey to engage with the article’s main research question. In the field study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with participants from international organizations, international and national non-governmental organizations, and state institutions. We argue that refugee women’s participation is frequently reduced to a formality and is constrained by the restrictions imposed by governmental and humanitarian agencies. A national action plan that considers the rights, ambitions, and expectations of refugee women in Turkey would not only strengthen their protection from violence but also encourage their agency. Under a legally binding framework, all stakeholders—refugee women, international organizations, donors, nongovernmental organizations, and the state—would be obliged to encourage refugee women’s participation in decision-making processes and mechanisms at varying levels and fields. We argue that a national action plan would challenge the traditional and patriarchal stereotypes regarding refugee women and enable all relevant stakeholders to promote refugee women’s agency in a systematic way.
Demir, Ebru; Sahin, Bilge; and Sengul, Irem
"Balancing the Protection and Participation of Refugee Women through the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda: Notes from Turkey,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 26:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol26/iss1/5