European Union and UN Women join forces to provide financial and technical support to 22 civil society organizations


UN Women announced the civil society organizations with which it will partner and provide financial and technical support under a project financed by the European Union.

Awards ceremony, Photo Credit: UN Women / Ender Baykuş

On 8 December, 22 civil society organizations (CSOs) from 17 provinces across Turkey came together for an awards ceremony with the participation of Asya Varbanova, UN Women Turkey Country Director, and Eleftheria Pertzinidou, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Varbanova said: “The women’s movement and women’s civil society organizations have been pioneers of significant change both at a national and international level. The power and determination of civil society in Turkey in implementing international norms and standards is especially important.” Stressing civil society’s seminal role in creating equal societies by supporting women’s leadership, agency and voices, Varbanova added: “Women’s civil society organizations are among the most strategic partners of UN Women, and we will continue supporting them.”

“The project focuses on key priorities for advancing women’s rights: promoting the economic, social and political empowerment of women and girls, as well as combating gender-based violence. It also has the added-value of strengthening the dialogue between public institutions and civil society organisations. Thanks to the partnership with UN Women, we are able to support 22 Turkish civil society organisations in the field of gender equality,” said Pertzinidou.

UN Women, in partnership with four CSOs – the Flying Broom Foundation, Foundation for Solidarity with Women (KADAV), KAMER Foundation, and the Turkish Women Union – will implement joint projects on ending violence against women and girls and women’s access to justice and human rights mechanisms. Flying Broom Foundation will support women’s access to justice by providing free online legal counselling to women as well as trainings targeted at lawyers. Foundation for Solidarity with Women will work with women who are at risk of violence and have challenges in accessing support mechanisms in Istanbul. KAMER Foundation will provide support to women survivors of violence through its branches in 23 provinces as well as its 17 partner CSOs. Turkish Women Union will work to increase women’s access to justice in partnership with women counselling centres of municipalities and bar associations.

UN Women will further support 18 women’s organizations and women-led CSOs through “small grants” in order to strengthen their capacities to advance women’s rights and gender equality. The civil society organizations receiving small grants are:

Antalya Women’s Counselling Center and Solidarity Association
Aramızda, the Association for Gender Research
Fethiye Women’s Counselling and Solidarity Association
Freedom and Equality to Women Association
Gülpınar Sustainable Living Association
Housewives Solidarity and Development Association
International Federation of Business and Professional Women
International Migrant Women’s Solidarity Association
Kütahya Entrepreneur and Artist Women Association
LifeHouse Women’s Solidarity Association
Lotus Women's Solidarity and Life Association
Midyat Women’s Social Assistance and Solidarity Association
Ordu Women’s Empowerment Association
Roma Women’s Rights and Equality Association
Sil Baştan, Association for Combating Violence against Women and Child Abuse
Syrian Women Association
Syrian Women’s Network
Women Movement Association at the Rural Region

Implemented by UN Women, the “Strengthening Civil Society Capacities and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Advance Women's Rights and Gender Equality in Turkey” project will continue until March 2024. The project is financed by the European Union under the “Civil Society Facility and Media Programme” with approximately EUR 4,5 million funding. The project seeks to contribute to advancing women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey by supporting civil society. UN Women’s support will include: technical assistance and grants for networking, knowledge and experience-sharing, capacity-development, data- and evidence-based advocacy, and building empowering partnerships with public institutions, local authorities and academic institutions.