Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Leila Farsakh

Second Advisor

Jane L. Parpart

Third Advisor

Nada Mustafa Ali


Global forced migration represents one of the largest international humanitarian crises which traditional state-centric approaches in international relations fail to address. For this reason, a human security framework is necessary to analyze insecurities that refugees endure. However, in aiming to provide individuals with security, it is essential to consider security for women as well. This study looks at human security of women by taking the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey, the country hosting the most refugees worldwide. Based upon interviews with groups that work with refugees in Turkey, such as the Turkish government, international organizations, NGOs, and researchers, this study shows that organizations have taken initiative to provide human security services for women refugees by emphasizing programs that seek to “empower” refugee women. Therefore, I investigate the extent to which programs seeking to provide human security to Syrian refugees actually empower women. This thesis argues that their services fail to do so because they adhere to a Western modernist perspective on development and human security, rather than a postmodern feminist conceptualization of women’s empowerment.


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