On 7 June, the European Union and Council of Europe joint action on “Fostering Women’s Access to Justice in Türkiye" held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting in Ankara, in a hybrid meeting format, with the participation of representatives of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, as well as civil society organisations. All achievements made under the action so far were presented to members of the Steering Committee.
The partner and stakeholders expressed their appreciation of the capacity building activities conducted for 270 legal aid lawyers as well as dissemination of the key Council of Europe resources to 83 Bar Associations in Türkiye. The beneficiaries also expressed their gratitude for the organisation of multi-stakeholder meetings in pilot provinces, which contributed to developing dialogue and partnership among key stakeholders to improve women’s access to justice and legal aid.
During the meeting the four civil society organisations awarded small grants by the action also introduced their upcoming project activities aiming to increase women’s legal literacy and awareness and to support their access to justice, especially those from disadvantaged situations such as refugees or women victims of violence.
“Thanks to the support provided under this grant programme, we will continue our work to promote human rights and access to justice for women and girls. Our activities will contribute to developing capacity of the young judicial professionals and raising awareness about focusing on fostering girls’ access to justice", said the representative of the Flying Broom Foundation, İlayda Önal Toprak.
The Project Director of Soroptimist Federation of Turkey, Gül Üstün, stated: “With the EASILY project, we plan to reach 500 women from 10 different provinces of Türkiye and increase their knowledge and understanding about their rights through an innovative training programme.”
With the aim of achieving sustainable results, the Foundation of Women’s Solidarity also informed that they have started providing legal assistance to women victims of violence under their Women’s Counselling Centre and that the Association of Solidarity with Syrian Refugees in Izmir embarked on developing a mobile phone application and content materials to provide information and support for refugee women to access institutions and services.
Steering committee meetings are held every six months to oversee the implementation of the action on “Fostering Women’s Access to Justice in Türkiye” that aims to enhance accessibility and quality of legal aid services for women and support key stakeholders, including civil society, to facilitate women’s access to justice in Turkey. The action is implemented under the European Union and Council of Europe’s joint co-operation programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.