An interactive map helps municipalities in building gender-responsive services in Turkey

UN Women launched a gender-responsive interactive tool called the Purple Map for the women of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The Map, which is an easy-to-use guide that shows women centres, day care centres and gender-responsive municipal services of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, aims to make the city safer for women.

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Purple Map was introduced with an event organized at the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality conference hall. Photo: UN Women
The Purple Map was introduced with an event organized at the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality conference hall. Photo: UN Women Turkey

The Purple Map interactive web site is developed to respond to the different needs and priorities of women, men, elderly and all segments of the society through gender-responsive policies; and developing the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality’s services accordingly.

The Purple Map uses innovative methodology to identify specific locations and physical spaces in the city that need improvement in line with women’s various needs, such as for safety, care services, protection services and mobility. The Purple Map also gives women the opportunity to provide feedback and make enquires about the services that the municipality provide. The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality is planning to analyse the data collected and develop its gender-responsive services accordingly.

The Purple Map is implemented in partnership with the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation. It is funded by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The interactive tool was introduced to the district municipalities of Ankara and civil society organizations with an event held in the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality conference hall.

“The map is an exemplary tool for improving gender-sensitive service provision at the local level. Determining the different needs of all people who are exercising their urban rights and developing gender-responsive solutions to those needs and rights are first steps towards achieving gender equality,” says Asya Varbanova, UN Women Turkey Country Director during her opening remarks at the Purple Map launch event.

“With a focus on the needs that experiences from my country show us are crucial: safety, employment, child-care, political participation, this is a great initiative,” says Ambassador Staffan Herrström, Embassy of Sweden in Ankara. “I hope it can become a model for other cities and for the whole country,” he said.

“We have always been determined to integrate Sustainable Development Goals into our work,” says Mustafa Çokakoğlu, Deputy Secretary General of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality. “We needed geography-based mapping to improve the municipal services in favour of women. We are making the needs of women visible through the tools like the Purple Map,” he said.

“Data-based decision making and access to information are fundamental democratic dimensions in urban policies. The Purple Map is at the intersection of urban governance, sustainability, gender equality, digital policy tools, transparency and accountability,” says Necla Zarakol, Vice Chair of the Executive Board, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation.

UN Women will promote the Map for use by other municipalities in Turkey, while also continuing to support municipalities to deliver gender-responsive services.