Ankara Metropolitan Municipality broke new ground in the fight against violence against women. Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş, who opened the first “Women Empowerment Center” in Turkey, said, “We are breaking new ground in Turkey with this project, we are proud and happy about it. We now have a women's empowerment center in Ankara where we can act together for women and share your experiences and our work. We know that the more we unite, the more women we can reach.”
The Women's Empowerment Center Project, hosted by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality and supported by the Dutch Embassy through the MATRA Social Transformation and Human Rights Grant Program, was implemented for the first time in Turkey in the Capital.
The Women's Empowerment Center, which will work under the coordination of the Women's Counseling Center and Projects Branch Directorate of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Women and Family Services Department, was put into service on the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November".
The opening of the “Women Empowerment Center” held at the Youth Park Women's Counseling Center; Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mansur Yavaş, Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Reşit Serhat Taşkınsu, Deputy Secretary General Faruk Çınkı, Metropolitan Municipality bureaucrats, UNICEF, UN WOMEN, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Population Fund, Ankara Bar Association and NGOs, universities and women's associations representatives also attended.
ANOTHER PRINCIPLE WAS SIGNED IN TURKEY
Noting that they have implemented many projects for women in 2,5 years, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mansur Yavaş made the following evaluations in his speech at the opening:
“We published the Purple Map, the Women and Children Bulletin for the first time in 2,5 years. We went to thousands of women who could not come to us by mobile vehicles, we started women's health trainings in rural areas, we strengthened our women's counseling units in 7 rural districts. We implemented our Local Equality Action Plan, provided opportunities for 9 women's cooperatives in Başkent Market, signed a free lawyer protocol for women with the Ankara Bar Association, and implemented the safe station and nonstop download application. We have opened our 7/24 violence hotline for use, and in order to further this distance, we are opening our Women's Empowerment Center with the Dutch Embassy today. As a municipality, we also established our Department of Women and Family Services. We still have a long way to go.”
Stating that a first was achieved with the Women's Empowerment Center, Yavaş continued his speech as follows:
“With this project, we are breaking new ground in Turkey, we are proud and happy about it. We now have a women's empowerment center in Ankara where we can act together for women and share your experiences and our work. Our request from you is to direct your students and volunteers who specialize in this field to our common non-governmental area. We know that the more we unite, the more women we can reach. We started to distribute promotional cards for the Women's Empowerment Center to be delivered to buses and to everyone. I would also like to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their support for the project.”
EMPOWERMENT MECHANISM FOR WOMEN
Erik Westrate, Undersecretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who attended the opening, stated that he was happy to be at the opening of the Women's Empowerment Center on behalf of the Dutch Embassy and said:
“The Women's Empowerment Center Project is supported by the Dutch Government's MATRA grant programme. The project will be carried out for 24 months by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Women's Counseling Center and Projects Branch. Now it will be enough for women to knock on this door so that they can get the support they need.”
With the project, it is aimed to carry out the existing works of the Women's Counseling Center within the framework of the Women's Empowerment Center, to switch to an NGO-based service model and to enable universities to carry out women's studies with local governments. The center, which will develop a new mechanism for women living in Ankara, will create a digital infrastructure and include Women's Studies Departments of 9 NGOs and 4 universities.
THESIS STUDENTS WILL ALSO WORK IN THE PROJECT THAT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL 2023
In the center where students studying in the women's studies department of universities can work voluntarily with appropriate thesis studies, NGOs operating in certain fields of study in Ankara will also be able to continue their activities.
Stating that the sustainability of the center will be provided by Ankara Metropolitan Municipality after the project, which will end in September 2023, Head of Women and Family Services Department Serkan Yorgancılar said, “Our project will continue for 24 months. Women will be able to get the service they want very easily from here. I think that very important works will be carried out not only in terms of violence against women, but also in terms of empowering women.”
Elif Çelikcan, one of the Volunteers of the Per Girl's Platform, said, "We are very happy to be a part of such a valuable project as the Per Girl's team. It is also important that it is a first in Turkey. In order to be able to provide support while fully supporting women who are victims of violence, both NGOs, universities and municipalities need to cooperate. In this sense, the Women's Empowerment Center has become a project where we put our finger on exactly this point. That's why we are very happy.”