Refugees and locals are talking to build mutual understanding

17 August 2017

Hacettepe University Women’s Research and Implementation Center (HÜKSAM) organized a focus group meeting to understand the “Cultural Sensitivities” that both the refugees and the local cultures have. The focus group meetings were held on August 16 and 17th, 2017 in Ankara.

6 different focus groups, each consisting of 15 participants, were set to study and understand the cultural differences and sensitivities the both cultures have. The questions were tailored in such a way that the answers will reveal and explore misunderstandings of as well as mutual expectations from each other. The findings of these focus groups will guide HUKSAM and UNFPA Turkey Women and Girls Safe Spaces to provide better and on target social inclusion implementations.

During the focus groups meetings, questions such as “How was your daily life back in your country? As a woman, what were your daily challenges in your country and here? How do you define a decent person in your culture? How do men behave in your country? How do you define an ideal family in your own culture? were asked to the refugee focus group participants. To the local women participants, “Do you think living in a multicultural neighbourhood is good? What type of problems you face when living with refugees coming from cultures different from yours? What would be your suggestions to tackle these daily problems, if any?  

In the light of the answers to the questions above, this studys's aim is to create an environment for mutual understating between the refugees’ and locals’ cultures and unearth what makes these culture different and how we can meet in the middle for a better social cohesion project.

Hacettepe University Women’s Research and Implementation Center (HÜKSAM) is coordinating three UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Space (WGSS) centers in Ankara which operate within the Ministry of Health’s Migrant Health Centers. The WGSS centers in Yenimahalle, Alemdag and Gulveren are funded by Eurepoen Comision’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).