Empowering Change: WE ACT project starts to strengthen women’s political participation in Türkiye”

srp 05, 2023

Gender, Inclusion & Human rights

WE ACT: Women Empowerment and Action in Politics and Media is a project financed by the European Union. Officially initiated in January 2023, it aims to strengthen the representation and participation of women in the political sphere at the local level in Türkiye, acting transversally in the 7 regions. To reach its final goal, the project is articulated through different strands of actions over a period of 30 months: the objective is to empower women running for the 2024 local elections by providing them with capacity building, training and coaching to prepare and run effectively an electoral campaign, but also to perform a good local, inclusive and participatory governance, if elected.

WE ACT wants to provide concrete support to the Turkish civil society associations working for women and/or LGBTIQ+ communities, in order to strengthen their empowerment and advocacy efforts towards policy making. The fight against stereotypes is another main priority of the project, which is also engaged in supporting media actors to ensure greater visibility for women politicians while countering and reducing sexist discourses in the media.

The project consortium is composed of 3 partners: Ka.Der, an organisation actively working from 1997 to increase the number of women in politics and in decision making positions as to achieve gender equality in Turkish politics. Ka.Der also trains and guides women throughout their candidacy journey. The second partner is Daktilo1984, a non-profit organisation acting as an essential platform where Turkish intellectuals can exchange their ideas and opinions and give media training to women candidates; and ALDA.

WE ACT concretely reinforces women’s participation in the political sphere at the local level in Türkiye

The Launching Event of the WE ACT Project took place on June 22, 2023 at the Postane Hol, İstanbul. The event began with the warm welcome of ALDA Secretary General, Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida and ALDA’s Project Coordinator, Ms. Apolline Bonfils together with Ka.Der President Ms. Nuray Karaoğlu and Daktilo1984 Administrative Affairs and Projects Director Ms. Derya Özkaynak Suer, who kicked off the informative session about the project. Relevant guests were also present, among which the EU Delegation to Türkiye that is actively supporting the WE ACT project. The highlight of the event was the panel discussion during which our esteemed guests shared their experiences stating the importance of women’s participation in local governance. Moderated by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Tourism Platform Director, Dr. Şengül Altan Arslan and joined by the Mayor of Doğubayazıt Municipality, Mr. Yıldız Acar together with the Former Mayor of Urla Municipality, Mr. Sibel UYAR, the panel was full of inspirational insights demonstrating their concrete engagement against the challenges that women politicians have to face in the role of mayors of the westernmost and easternmost areas of Türkiye. The networking cocktail at the end was the ideal opportunity for participants to connect, share ideas about women’s representation in local government and build valuable relationships. 

ALDA wishes to the whole team of WE ACT a good job while working to raise women’s voices and contribute to a more democratic and inclusive society in Türkiye.