New UN Women-EU project to support women rights kicks off
A new three-year project aiming to support civil society on women’s rights in Turkey has kicked off in an event bringing together the representatives of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, U.N. Women, civil society, government representatives and other stakeholders in the capital Ankara.
The project “Strengthening Civil Society Capacities and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Advance Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Turkey” will help women’s rights civil society organizations (CSOs) and groups, as well as women-led CSOs, in improving their capacity to influence national and local women’s rights and gender equality agendas.
Implemented by U.N. Women, the project will continue until March 2024. It will receive funding of 4.5 million euros from the European Union. The European Union is financing this project under the “Civil Society Facility and Media Programme.”
“This comprehensive project’s multi-stakeholder approach and its thematic diversity will not only help advance women’s rights and the gender equality agenda in Turkey but also reinforce the ‘leaving no one behind’ principle of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Asya Varbanova, country director of U.N. Women Turkey.
Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, said on the occasion: “We trust this project will allow civil society organizations to be more vocal, more effective and more united in working on the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey. We are pleased to work on these goals in partnership with U.N. Women, who will play a key role in bringing together the relevant stakeholders committed to the empowerment of women and girls.”
The project will also address the challenges and inequalities faced by women, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the project, up to 30 CSOs will benefit from small-scale grants to strengthen their institutional capacities.
Giving a keynote speech at the event, Alia El-Yassir, Europe and Central Asia regional director for U.N. Women, said: “We need multi-layered, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary partnerships to accelerate the progress and reverse back the COVID-19 trap that has immensely and disproportionally affected women all around the world.“
“If our mission is to ensure ‘Leaving No One Behind’ on the way to achieving gender equality, we need the partnerships between civil society, organizations, states, and more importantly, the youth,” expressed Selin Özünaldım, HeForShe Advocate.
In partnership with CSOs, U.N. Women will put in place joint actions for eliminating violence against women and girls, increasing women’s access to justice and human rights mechanisms and women’s economic empowerment.
“The women’s movement in Turkey is really strong. Their voice needs to be heard louder in the international arena. I think that this project is important in terms of supporting civil society organizations working in the field of women’s rights to have their voices heard at the international decision-making mechanisms such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW),” noted Selma Acuner from Women’s Coalition.
Representatives of civil society organizations also stated that they were hopeful the project would help them strengthen their capacities to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey in a more effective and structured way.