UN Women and the Ministry of Justice take concrete steps to advance women’s access to justice in Turkey
Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice Project, implemented by UN Women and the Ministry of Justice of Turkey, aims to improve women’s access to justice and ensure more effective implementation of the laws on elimination of violence against women.
UN Women and the Ministry of Justice in Turkey have launched a new project to strengthen protection of women and girls from violence, efficient implementation of relevant regulations and women’s access to justice. Co-financed by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and UN Women, the “Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice Project” will be implemented jointly with the Ministry’s relevant departments.
The Project aims to ensure more effective implementation of the Law no 6284 on the Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence against Women and improve the response of the Turkish justice system to violence against women incidents in line with the international norms, standards and conventions to which Turkey is a party. In this context, workshops will be held with Family Court judges and public prosecutors in charge of the Domestic Violence and Violence against Women Offices. There will be several initiatives carried out to ensure that court decisions are made in line with the international legal frameworks adopted by Turkey, including the International Convention the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and support the functioning of the Directorates of Legal Support and Victims Services.
The Project supports and contributes to the objectives of the 11th Development Plan of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and the 4th National Action Plan on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The launch meeting of the project was held on 2 March 2022 and kicked off with a congratulations message shared by Emine Erdogan, First Lady of the Republic of Turkey. Stressing the importance of the Project, Erdogan said, “I hope the ‘Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice Project’, carried out jointly by UN Women Turkey and the Ministry of Justice, will bring important benefits and I congratulate all the stakeholders of the Project. Unfortunately, violence against women is a malignant tumor affecting humanity all over the world. We know that violence is not specific to any society, culture or geography. Violence is devastative and affects not only the victim but also the entire society.”
Bringing public institutions and international organisations together, the launch was attended by Yakup Mogul, the Deputy Minister of Justice; Fatma Oncu, the Deputy Minister of Family and Social Services; Staffan Herrström, the Swedish Ambassador; and Asya Varbanova, UN Women Country Director.
In his opening speech, Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrström stated the importance of the Project to ensure access to justice and said, “We should take all opportunities to eradicate violence against women and collaborate within and among countries to this end. The Project constitutes an opportunity to train judges, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, and others within the Ministry of Justice on the intentions behind and practical application of the law 6284. Everyone has the right to live a life free from violence.”
In her speech, Asya Varbanova, UN Women Turkey Country Director, stressed that the project would support the implementation of national and international laws and regulations and added, “There can be no justice for all without justice for women. Our project will help increase access to justice for women and girls who are at risk of or have experienced violence, in line with their needs and Turkey’s legal framework and international commitments.”