Amid COVID-19 lockdown in Turkey, UN Women runs campaign to curb violence against women and promote gender equality at home


UN Women Turkey is running an Instagram campaign to highlight the unfair care burden on women and to share practical information on where and how women and girls can seek help in case of violence. Design: UN Women Turkey

With millions of people in lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, gender inequalities that already existed are deepening and violence against women is rising across the world.

In Turkey, where isolation measures were imposed on 10 March, it is estimated that in Istanbul alone violence against women has spiked by 38 percent, according to the city’s Security Directorate.

In normal circumstances, Turkish women do almost five times as much unpaid care work at home as men. Today, caring for children who are staying at home and relatives if they fall ill, is increasing the burden on women significantly.

To address this UN Women Turkey is running an Instagram campaign designed to highlight this unfair burden on women and encourage men to do their equal share. The campaign also aims to share with women and girls practical information on where and how they can seek help in case of violence.

Followers share their own experiences and engage in live talks

Through the popular social media channel, UN Women encourages its followers to share their experiences distributing and balancing household work. What can be done to take the burden from women’s shoulders? How can we make our homes more equal living spaces? These are some of the questions UN Women Turkey uses to engage its mostly young audience.

The responses they receive are then posted on the Instagram feed, creating a display of inspiring thoughts, concerns and recommendations.

Another very popular aspect of UN Women’s social media campaign is the live ‘Instagram talks’ dedicated to discussing a wide range of COVID-19 related issues and their impact on women and girls. The first ‘Instagram Talk’ featured the prominent journalist, writer and women’s rights advocate, Melis Alphan. In addition to touching on the most relevant questions women and girls had, the conversation was a unique opportunity to emphasize UN Women’s messages on the importance to respond to the crises in a gender-sensitive manner.

Critical information about violence against women

UN Women Turkey has also harnessed the power and reach of Instagram to share timely and evidence based information about the rise of violence against women and the services available across the country to seek help, including helplines.

The vital information is reaching hundreds of thousands of Instagram users.

So far, the campaign has proved very successful. The inspiring and lively conversations have attracted a growing audience and helped increase the organization’s Instagram account followers by 40 per cent.