Empowering women in local authorities: ALDA’s new mission in Turkey

Set 06, 2021

Gender, Inclusion & Human rights Linked project:
WE ACT – Women Empowerment and ACTion in Politics and Media

As ALDA’s engagement in Turkey has becoming more and more intense, a new project focused on gender equality and women participation has just seen its official opening on Monday, September 6th, 2021.

Empowering women in local authorities: here is the title of this ambitious project, funded by the Sabanci Foundation in frame of the Social Change Grant Program and led by KA.DER – Association for Supporting of Women Candidates, the Municipality of Edremit and ALDA.

The project Empowering Women in Local Authorities will encourage women in joining participation mechanisms while mainstreaming gender equality at the local level. Moreover, it foresees the active involvement of 14 pilot provinces or district municipalities from every regions of Turkey, which will work to strengthen gender equality during the 12-month project period, under the guidance of the CEMR’s “European Charter of Equality in Local Life”.

As main goal, the project wants to empower the pilot municipalities for the establishment of Local Equality Action Plans and the implementation of the necessary strategies for including women into urban life and local decision-making processes. It also aims at establishing Gender Equality offices in the targeted municipalities, transferring the Turkish law od 6284 “Protect family and prevent violence against women” and the Istanbul Convention to the citizens, fulfilling gender-based budgeting techniques and designing permanent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms based on these results.

12 months, 1 goal: encourage women in joining participation mechanisms while mainstreaming gender equality at the local level

During this first online meeting all partners and donor were present and virtually met each. The conference started with opening speeches of Nuray Karaoglu, representing KA.DER Association, Selman Hasan Arslan and Tamer Acar for the Edremit Municipality and Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA. 

Ms Valmorbida highlighted “the crucial importance this project has not only for the empowerment of the democratic functioning of the targeted local authorities, but as well for the empowerment of citizens, especially  women, to be part of such democratic process”. “Indeed – continued Ms Valmorbida – women engagement and empowerment is not yet acquainted and need to be consolidated“. 

The meeting then went on with the presentation of the project structures and main milestones and expected outcomes, for which the involvement of all project partners is required, reason why the session was followed by a space for questions in order to clarify all remaining doubts on the next steps and procedures.

This project is actually another great opportunity to cooperate with the Municipality of Edremit, which is already a member of ALDA and a partner for other projects. This cooperation is particularly significant because it is a beautiful consolidation of the connection between ALDA and Edremit because the process to open a brand new Local Democracy Agency there is coming to a close. This comes at a moment in time where the importance of  ALDA’s mission – its founding principles and promotion of active citizenship and democratisation – is particularly relevant for the country.