Since 2015, the Strengthening Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Services for Syrian and Other Refugees through Women and Girl Safe Spaces (WGSS)/Women Health Counselling Units Project has been ongoing as a collaborative project between Hacettepe University Women’s Research and Implementation Center (HUWRIC) and Ankara Health Directorate, in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and with financial support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). This project aims to provide safe spaces for migrant women and girls, as well as health counselling services. Within the project, services have been  provided at three Women and Girl Safe Spaces (centres) namely Alemdağ, Gülveren and Yenimahalle.

As an activity of the project, the Women Empowering Together event was held on the June 20th World Refugee Day in Ankara. 300 participants attended, including service providers at the centres, refugee women receiving services from the centres, and representatives from other institutions working in this field.

The event included a short film screening, “Women and Girl Safe Spaces”, which includes interviews with service providers who have contributed to the project and beneficiaries. After the short film screening, the findings of the research conducted within the scope of the project, titled Determining Sexual and Reproductive and Gender Based Violence Service Needs of Women Applied to Centers was shared with the participants by Assoc. Prof. İlknur Yüksel-Kaptanoğlu. This was followed by the presentation of results of Cultural Sensitivity and Social Cohesion Research by Prof. Kezban Çelik. Prof. Özlem Cankurtaran also presented on her recent book From Syria to Turkey: Being a Woman. The event ended with a panel discussion on “Women Empowering Together – Experience Sharing” which included personnel providing services at the centres, as well as beneficiaries. The event closed with a performance of the “Women Tracing the Light of Hope Choir” composed of centre personnel and refugee women receiving services from the centres.

To find out more about the work of the Hacettepe University Women’s Research and Implementation Center visit the website or email them