UN Women works towards gender-responsive municipalities through engaging men and boys in Türkiye

UN Women in Türkiye conducted a workshop on men and boys’ engagement in gender equality for the senior officials of Adana Metropolitan Municipality. Located in the mid-south part of Türkiye, Adana is one of the largest provinces of the country with around 1.8 million habitants, and one of the pilot cities for the implementation of UN Women’s programmes in the country.


UN Women in Türkiye works with municipalities to engage men and boys in gender equality. Photo: Adana Metropolitan Municipality.
UN Women in Türkiye works with municipalities to engage men and boys in gender equality. Photo: Adana Metropolitan Municipality

Conducted between June 29-30, the workshop was attended by the Mayor Zeydan Karalar and senior officials across different departments of the municipality. The workshop aimed to raise awareness of the male municipal officials on gender equality and women’s empowerment and discuss how men and boys can take active role in transforming the society for an equal future. It also kicked off a roadmap to be co-developed by the municipality and UN Women on fostering men and boys engagement in gender equality and supporting gender mainstreaming across municipal services.

In his remarks, Adana Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Zeydan Karalar emphasized on the importance of men and boys engagement to achieve gender equality. “Throughout history, men always had privileges just because of their sexual identity. But we need to put an end to this and take bold actions towards an equal future. That’s why men and boys’ engagement in gender equality is vital,” highlighted Karalar in his remarks. “As the municipality, our work in this field will be expanding in collaboration with the United Nations, civil society and other actors.”

Ayten Dolançay, Adana Metropolitan Municipality Department Head of Women and Family Services, emphasized on the importance of collaboration for achieving gender equality. “Together with universities, civil society, UN Women, and every single individual living in Adana, we are working to achieve gender equality. One of the objectives of our Local Equality Action Plan is to engage men in gender equality as agents to transform our society,” underlined Dolançay at her opening speech.

UN Women Child, Early and Forced Marriages Project Coordinator Duygu Erseçen stated that engagement of men and boys in gender equality is an important element for achieving an equal future. “The traditional norms, values and the roles assigned to men and boys create toxic masculinity which is one of the root causes of the inequalities we face today. Men and boys should be aware of their privileges and should walk hand in hand with women to achieve gender equality,” said Erseçen. “Municipalities play a key role in providing enabling environments for everyone to understand the causes of inequalities and how to act against them. The gender-responsive municipal services which mainstream men and boys engagement is therefore vital. This workshop will help us draw a roadmap for Adana and support achieve our common goal.”

At the two-day workshop the participants discussed how traditional norms and values on masculinity aggravate inequalities and what kind of privileges men and boys have. The mayor and senior officials of the municipality discussed potential policies and plans to put in place both internally within municipality and for the men and boys especially from vulnerable neighborhoods. Together with the technical support of UN Women, the officials have suggested areas of work where the municipality could encourage men and boys to take on an equal mindset and eradicate toxic masculinity. The workshop was conducted within the framework of the United Nations Joint Programme on Child, Early and Forced Marriages funded by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Throughout the roadmap several workshops will be conducted to monitor the progress and overcome challenges that may arise.