Women struggle with violence all around the world and in most cases, support is limited by access to technology. A project launched by Turkish NGOs and institutions aims to help women in need by providing them recycled smartphones and to make their voices stronger.
"A phone can save a woman's life," Canan Güllü, president of the Federation of Turkish Women's Associations (TKDF), said Monday.
Within the scope of a movement launched by the TKDF, the Sabancı Foundation and Turkish technology retail chain Teknosa – donors will be able to deliver their old and unused smartphones at Teknosa stores or from their homes by calling the Teknosa Call Center (0 850 222 55 99). The donated smartphones will be repaired and maintained and then delivered to women who are victims of violence.
At the same time, the TKDF's mobile helpline application for reporting domestic violence will be installed on the collected phones, so that women will be able to request help with a single button in case of violence or when they are at risk.
Güllü said that they are worried about the limited access of women to technology, especially during the COVID-19 era when everyone has to stay at home 24/7.
"Women who are the victim of violence are not alone. We wanted them to feel that. We wanted to be a voice for them. Technology is widespread today, but female poverty limits access to technology. We know that this need has become very common in the COVID-19 period. This has been the main point of the collaboration."
The project is currently in the process of collecting phones. In the next phase, phones will be distributed to women who have applied to the TKDF and who are known to be subjected to violence.
"So far, 3,500 women have used the TKDF's emergency helpline application. In other words, if 3,500 women are alive today, that is because they have the access to our helpline," she added.