SYRIAN REFUGEE WOMEN'S FERTILITY CHARACTERISTICS AND INFLUENCING FACTORS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

Abstract

Author(s): Eylem KARAKAYA, Anayit MARGIRIT CO?KUN, Nebahat ZERDO?AN, Eda YAKIT

This study was planned as descriptive and qualitative research aimed at identifying Syrian Refugee women's fertility characteristics and influencing factors. Data were collected through a group interview with 50 refugee women of Arab and Kurdish backgrounds who immigrated to Turkey. Institutional and individual consent was obtained for the study. All of the women in the sample immigrated to Turkey due to the war, and they live in overpopulated settlements under poor conditions. They stated that early marriage was a common phenomenon in their countries of origin and that polygamy was considered normal if women were unable to give birth to children. However, husbands' and elders' desire to have boys and government aid also play a role in high fertility. Abortion can be practised illegally although it is against the law and religious principles. In addition, people are reported to pressure women to have children. Women's knowledge and use of contraceptives was at unsatisfactory levels. The "pull out method" is commonly used by these women. The women in the sample were content with their high fertility levels and were willing to maintain this behavior in Turkey. It was discovered that they had only limited access to planned parenthood services.

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