Four civil society organisations (CSOs) kicked off their activities targeting women and legal professionals in Türkiye to increase awareness and legal literacy among women.
Their activities intend to empower women to claim their rights and to develop networks and capacities of legal professions to facilitate women’s and girls’ access to justice. These grants are provided within the framework of the action “Fostering women’s access to justice in Turkey” implemented under the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022".
Below are some highlights from these activities:
The Foundation for Women’s Solidarity (Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı)
The Foundation for Women’s Solidarity is providing legal assistance to women in order to increase their access to legal aid and available services and continuing to bring together the lawyers to create a platform to share experiences on women’s access to justice.
A total of 20 provinces are targeted (Ankara, Izmir, istanbul, Adana, Urfa, Van, Gaziantep, Düzce, Yalova, Diyarbakır, Corum, Trabzon, Batman, Bursa, Manisa, Hatay, Eskisehir, Rize, Mersin and Samsun). The Women Counselling Centre has provided legal assistance to 230 people through a network of social workers and lawyers. In addition, two online experience-sharing workshops were organised to facilitate exchange among 23 lawyers from bar associations from Ankara, Istanbul, Mersin, Adana, Van, Diyarbakir, Samsun, Mugla and Gaziantep. The workshops focused on the challenges and obtacles faced by women victims/survivors of violence and the role of legal aid to support women’s access to justice.
Flying Broom Foundation (Uçan Süpürge Vakfı)
A 10-weeks online training programme has started to promote women’s and girl’s access to justice with the participation of lawyers, law students and trainee lawyers from various provinces in Türkiye.
The Flying Broom Foundation held two two-day online training on “women’s and girls’ access to justice”. A total of 137 legal professionals, including lawyers from different civil society organisations and bar associations including Ankara Bar, Adana, Samsun, Istanbul, Manisa, Mugla and Hatay, as well as trainee lawyers and law students got acquainted with women’s and girls’ access to justice rights and on available legal aid mechanisms.
In addition to the training programme, the grantee CSO has also started the preparation of a “guide on girls’ access to justice and legal aid mechanisms”. The guide will be available in the Union of Turkish Bar Associations online library, Ankara Bar Association’s website, Ankara University and Women’s Studies Center’s websites.
Soroptimist International of Türkiye (Türkiye Soroptimist Kulupleri İş ve Meslek Kadınları Dernekleri Federasyonu)
A group of 147 women volunteer moderators, co-ordinators and lawyers attended a two-day training of trainers’ session on women’s access to justice and legal aid to launch women’s legal literacy programme in 8 cities across Türkiye.
The purpose of the project is to increase women’s legal literacy in three main themes: women’s human rights and combating gender-based violence; women’s economic and social rights and family law.
Soroptimist International organised two training sessions in Adana with the participation of 44 women with disadvantaged backgrounds. Participating women were informed about human rights, gender equality, civil rights, gender-based violence, divorce and alimony as well as availabe remedies and support services. These training sessions will continue face-to-face in Ankara, Bursa, Denizli, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Mersin and Zonguldak and reach 450 more women.
The Association of Solidarity with Syrian Refugees in Izmir (İzmir'de Suriyeli Mültecilerle Dayanışma Derneği)
This organisation aims at increasing legal literacy and legal awareness of refugee women through technological tools.
The Association conducted a need analysis among refugee women, who are among the vulnerable women group with limited access to information and services. The need analysis unfolds that inadequate knowledge of legal procedures and services, including legal aid, poses a significant barrier for refugee women to exercise their rights. Having this in mind, the Association has embarked on developing capacity building and awareness raising materials and tools, including a mobile application, website, and their content in the languages of target women (Turkish and Arabic), podcasts, videos and a handbook. The online tools will be available soon.