There Can Be No Development and Equality in Society Without Women

The Experts Workshop which is the first phase of the project on “Gender Equality in Society”, jointly developed by the Istanbul University Urban Policy Implementation and Research Center and ‘’Yanındayız Association’’ was done on 24th February 2020. The workshop was held at the Rectorate of Istanbul University.

The Project is supported by Canada Local Initiatives Fund (CFLI - Canada Fund for Local Initiatives), opened by Canadian Embassy. The Project is entitled “Improving the Collection and Use of Gender Equality Data in Turkey Through the Development and Implementation of Turkey's first District-level Gender Equality Index (CFLI-2019-ANKARA-0006). By evaluating 233 districts in Turkey according to various criteria, a “gender equality Index at the county level” was aimed to create.

In the workshop section of the project, the participants discussed what should be included in the gender equality index in the district level, their importance and their intensity. The workshop aimed to expose the differences, shortcomings and pros in gender equality in Turkey scale; share good examples; and to guide local directors, non-governmental organizations accordingly.

"Neither Development nor Equality Can Exist in The Society Without Women"

Istanbul University Vice-Rector Prof. Haluk Alkan made the opening speech at the meeting. Prof. Alkan pointed out that this project, which is being carried out to address an important issue in the world and Turkey, will initiate a very important process. Dr. Alkan said: "It is among the most basic human rights for women to be able to exist in all areas without falling into secondary positions in the fields of employment and education as they continue their social roles in life. Without women, neither development nor equality can exist in society. In our country, where more than 40 million women live, we are already aware of the relationship between the importance of women's health and their place in society and the social welfare and economic development of the country.”

Dr. Alkan said: ‘’The importance given to this subject by Istanbul University was demonstrated by the implementation of Turkey's first Center for Women's Studies and a related graduate program in1995. Dr. Alkan said, " Our University's Urban Policy Implementation and Research Center is signing a new project with other stakeholders today with the awareness of this problem. In this project, which held its first meeting today, a different interpretation of the gender equality index has been added to the studies and 233 counties from 81 provinces in Turkey have been included in the study. The results of this study will be a very important opportunity for the implementation of social policies.’’Dr. Alkan concluded his speech by saying,” I thank you all for your support by coming here today and I have the belief that our work which will be shaped by your contributions, will serve to improve the living standards of women living in our country."

The Project Was Supported by The Canadian Local Initiatives Fund, Owned By The Canadian Embassy

After Prof. Dr. After Haluk Alkan, Antonia Wynne Hughes of the Canadian Embassy, which formed the international branch of the project took the stage for speech. Antonia Hughes pointed out that The Canadian Embassy supports the joint project of the Canadian Local Initiatives Fund, ‘’Yanındayız Association’’ and the IU Urban Policy Implementation and Research Center. Hughes said, ‘’The project is important because it will show a comprehensive picture of how different groups experience inequality in their communities in the areas of education, health, social life, participation and economic development.

County-Level Gender Equality Index

In the workshop, Ferhat Boratav of Yanındayız Association gave a speech as well. Explaining why the project is focused on the district level, he said: “In Turkey, big metropolises such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have such huge differences and inequalities in themselves that one cannot say anything about those provinces by just looking at an average figure. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the districts to get more meaningful data.”

IU City Policy Implementation and Research Center Director Prof. Dr. Murat Şeker gave detailed information about the project and stated that the project aims to construct an index model with the theme of sustainable gender equality and to prepare a report containing index calculations and to map it at the level of districts determined in Turkey.
Following the completion of the keynote speeches, the program continued with session speeches covering discussion of indicator sets, index components and weighting of indicator sets.

News: Esra Nur Dönmez
Translated by: Yasemin Uğurlu
Photographs: Başar Uzun, İbrahim Can Selen
İU Department of Corporate Communication

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