Regional Programme on Ending Violence against Women in the Western Balkans and Turkey


The three-year programme, ‘Implementing Norms, Changing Minds’, aims at ending gender-based discrimination and violence against women in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo [1], the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) and Turkey, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged groups of women.

The adoption and full implementation of frameworks aligned with international normative standards – including those standards outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Istanbul Convention and the European Union acquis communautaire – are essential for addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women. The programme will strengthen women’s organizations capacity to hold governments to account, advocate for effective implementation, and monitor prevention of and response to violence against women. Beyond the full implementation of legislative frameworks, the programme also addresses structural causes of gender inequality – and one of its most pervasive expressions, violence against women – through a transformation of gender discriminatory stereotypes, perceptions and beliefs. Lastly, protection, prevention and response to violence against women is closely interlinked with the availability of and access to comprehensive, multi-sectoral services for survivors of violence.


Find out more about the programme.

Latest stories

Regional forum takes stock of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in the Western Balkans and Turkey
Convened by the Government of Republic of North Macedonia, UN Women, the European Union, and the Council of Europe (CoE), in partnership with European Women’s Lobby, the regional forum reviewed progress in fulfillment of the Istanbul Convention. Read more
Surviving Violence, Helping Others to Access Justice
36-year-old Günçe Çetin, a successful lawyer from Ankara, Turkey, suffered the trauma of intimate partner violence for several months. She is now using her personal and professional experience to help other women survivors of violence. Read more

Click here to see the full list of the programme’s civil society partners.


[1] All references to Kosovo on this website shall be understood to be in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).


newsletter cover 100x131Implementing Norms, Changing Minds Newsletter
This newsletter highlights stories of women leading change to end violence against women in the region as well as news and the latest updates on the development of the programme. More

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