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Challenges and Obstacles for Syrian Refugee Women in the Turkish Labor Market

Faculty of Social Sciences, Hasan Kalyoncu University, 27000 Gaziantep, Turkey
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2019, 9(3), 49;
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
PDF [224 KB, uploaded 26 June 2019]


The civil war in Syria resulted in the displacement of 5.7 million civilians between 2011 and 2018. Approximately four million of these civilians started to live in Turkey as refugees trying to integrate themselves into the labor market. The present research is a case study regarding the obstacles faced by Syrian refugee women’s access to the labor market in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. To this end, a survey was carried out on a population of 341 migrants under a temporary protection regime comprising 207 women. The results obtained indicate numerous problems and show the needs of Syrian women. For example, Turkish language fluency and low education and skill levels are among the largest barriers for employment. Moreover, the opacity of bureaucratic procedures and non-computerized work permit applications are shown to be another slowing factor in this process. Compared with their home countries, Syrian women are more active in Turkey. However, a majority is involved in precarious and seasonal jobs. The problems of childcare and the feudal (male-dominated) nature of many homes deter Syrian women from contributing economically, and despite being a generally young population, most hold seasonal jobs, which leave little opportunity for career development. It is recommended that, to overcome structural barriers in accessing the labor market, Syrian refugee women need long-term training rather than restrictive policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Syrian refugee women; labor market; integration; Turkey Syrian refugee women; labor market; integration; Turkey
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ozturk, L.; Serin, Z.V.; Altınoz, H. Challenges and Obstacles for Syrian Refugee Women in the Turkish Labor Market. Societies 2019, 9, 49.

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