High-level panel discusses ways of preventing violence against women in politics

Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019

Participants are discussing measures to eliminate violence against women in politics and cyber platforms at the "Her Net Her Rights" workshop. Photo: UN Women
Participants are discussing measures to eliminate violence against women in politics and cyber platforms at the "Her Net Her Rights" workshop. Photo: UN Women

UN Women organized a high-level panel discussion in Ankara, capital of Turkey, in October to explore how to prevent violence against women in politics. The discussion brought together Members of Parliament from different political parties, representatives from the Embassy of Sweden, the Ankara Municipality Council, civil society as well as international experts.

The Panel discussion on “Prevention of Violence Against Women in Politics” was opened with a series of keynote speeches from senior participants. 

Asya Varbanova, UN Women Turkey Country Director said: “Gender-based violence and discrimination all over the world drive women away from politics. We face these challenges all over the world. Violence against women in politics is global, systematic, widespread and therefore urgent action should be taken. For the end of violence and discrimination, a cooperation beyond politics is needed.”

In her keynote speech İlknur Üstün, the General Coordinator of European Women’s Lobby Coordination for Turkey, said: “Every day, new types of violence emerge, and digital violence is one of them. However, despite all these obstacles, the practice of acting together is getting stronger every day. This solidarity between women is very important in ending violence against women and bringing peace. Our aim is to strengthen cross-border women's solidarity further”.

Annika Molin Hellgren, the Ambassador, from the Embassy of Sweden said: “Political participation and real impact of women are an important part of gender equality. Therefore, it is a great joy for me to see the interest in today's panel on violence against women in politics. In addition, I think we, altogether, should salute all the brave women we have chosen to nominate and are currently working in local councils in different cities in our two countries.”

UN Women's Global Policy Advisor on Political Participation, Julie Ballington, focused on the types of violence and the sexist attitudes faced by women politicians, in her presentation at the panel. “Violence in politics aims to negatively affect the realization of women's political rights: it is to silence the voices of all women, not just those who are exposed to violence,” Ballington said.

The Panel on Prevention of Violence Against Women in Politics was organized as part of the Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey Project, which is carried out by UN Women and funded by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). A workshop entitled “Her Net, Her Rights” also took place where the ways to prevent violence against women in politics were also touched upon.