Promoting human rights of women needs more solid partnerships

United Nations Joint Programme for Promoting the Human Rights of Women has ended with a closing ceremony on 8th of September after its three years of successful implementation.

The Joint Program worked on the challenges related to women’s human rights in 11 provinces in Turkey, through its three components – Gender Responsive Budgeting, Purple Certificate and Sabancı Foundation Grant Program.

The Joint Program achieved remarkable outcomes by creating an “enabling environment” for accelerating the implementation of gender equality commitments at the local level and contributing to the development of sustainable capacities to promote, protect and realize women’s human rights and contribute to gender equality in various areas of life.

Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey, says that the Joint Program has taken important strides but he also underlines that the work is far from complete: “The key is to continue and build more solid partnerships and the ownership of all relevant stakeholders.”

The closing meeting of the Joint Program was held in Ankara on 8th of September. There was a broad participation from local and central administrations, municipalities, NGOs, international organizations and the media. The final beneficiaries shared their experiences during three years of the Joint Program at the ceremony.

What has been achieved with three components?

The Purple Certificate Program, successfully implemented by Sabancı University, raised gender awareness and supported high school teachers to develop a critical gender perspective. Since 2012, 145 teachers have obtained Purple Certificates and they are now better able to use gender equality education techniques in their in-class practices.

The Gender Responsive Budgeting component led by UN Women, made important contributions to improve gender equality policies and practices at a local level. The municipalities of the pilot provinces now have better plans and programs for gender equality and empowerment of women. They have also allocated significantly more funding for their implementation. With the raised awareness on gender inequalities, municipalities started to remove gender-based segregation of labor perception from their employment policies. Ultimately, the Municipalities now provide better services which take gender inequalities into account.

The Sabancı Foundation Grant Program, implemented jointly by the Sabancı Foundation and UNDP, supported local civil society organizations to address local needs to ensure women’s human rights. Twenty grant projects, in nine provinces, applied new and innovative methods. Not only women, but also men took part in activities in public spheres for as where traditional social values are often generated or reinforced, such as coffee houses. Various issues were covered – from combatting gender based violence to participation in professional life, civic rights and reproductive health. Grantees have worked on social and economic challenges faced by disadvantaged women, such as women with disabilities’, women in poverty and girl children.

As a result of the synergy between the Gender Responsive Budgeting and Grant Program Components, both municipalities and CSOs have improved their capacities for gender responsive planning and budgeting. Women’s organizations developed platforms in order to advocate for and monitor the implementation of gender responsive budgeting practices.