The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women) and the European Union launched a three-year project to allocate funds to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Turkey, in a bid to advance women’s rights. The project will provide funds of up to 4.5 million euros ($5.4 million).
The project aims to contribute to “the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey by enhancing the capacities of and partnership opportunities for civil society organizations working in fields where gender gaps persist, taking into account the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement by U.N. Women said.
U.N. Women will launch joint actions with NGOs designed to eliminate violence against women and girls, increase women’s access to justice and human rights mechanisms and increase women’s economic empowerment as part of the project. It will also fund up to 30 NGOs with small-scale grants to empower their institutional capacities.
The project will also focus on increasing the capacity and knowledge of NGOs, as well as media professionals and youth in areas experiencing a gender gap. Comprehensive research will also be conducted on the needs and priorities of women living in rural areas.
NGOs and women’s rights activities would be provided with technical and financial support to improve their participation in international conferences and processes. A “Gender Equality Academy” will be established for training on women’s rights and gender equality.
Asya Varbanova, U.N. Women Turkey Country Director, was quoted as saying at the launch of the project that civil society played a critical role in achieving commitments in several conventions to eliminate discrimination against women and in Sustainable Development Goals. “Civil society organizations and the women’s movement are on the frontlines for advancing women’s rights and eliminating inequalities, which have increased as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can build the equal future we long for if we benefit from the knowledge, experiences and leadership of civil society organizations,” she said.