Family Farming Knowledge Platform

Syrian and Turkish women build a cooperative and economic independence in Turkey

With Turkey hosting more than 3.6 million Syrians, that makes it home to the world’s largest refugee population. Many of those refugees, who have been granted “temporary protection” in Turkey, work in the agri-food and livestock sectors, which offer the most opportunities in the areas where they reside. However, these opportunities are often informal and seasonal, exposing Syrians and vulnerable Turkish communities, especially women, to poor working conditions, informal employment, and low or irregular wages. This situation triggers social tension, and this has proved particularly the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An assessment carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its local partners in 2017 showed that cooperatives run by and for women offer opportunities to take charge of their own economic activities, especially in situations where they face social and cultural constraints. Last year, FAO, with the support of the Government of Japan, started a project to build the resilience of Syrian refugees and host communities through increased livelihoods opportunities and strengthened social cohesion. The objective was to improve the skills and economic competence of 70 mainly female Syrians and locals, in three different provinces. 

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Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO
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Year: 2021
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Country/ies: Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey
Geographical coverage: Europe and Central Asia, Near East and North Africa
Type: Case study
Content language: English
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