Parliamentarians met in “Women in Politics Workshop”

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UN Women, together with Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and TGNA Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men (EOC), organized a “Women in Politics Workshop” in Mardin within the “Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey” Project.

UN Women, together with Inter-Parliamentary Union, organized a “Women in Politics Workshop” in Mardin, Turkey. More than 40 members of Turkish parliament attended the workshop which aims to support parliamentary action for gender equality.

The participants of the workshop explored the key components of a gender sensitive parliament and identified tools to increase the legislature’s gender sensitivity, including gender responsive budgeting.

Chairperson of Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men Committee, Canan Kalsın in her opening speech, said that female MPs are responsible of ensuring gender equality in legislations and added, “Parliament has an important role for ensuring gender equality in our country. Gender equality is an issue which is beyond the agenda of political parties. The role of our parliament gives us an important responsibility to sustain equality and justice between women and men. Moreover, gender equality is critical to accelerate sustainable development.”

UN Women Acting Head of Office Dr. Sabine Freizer said in her opening speech that UN Women is working to support women’s political participation and leadership: “We are not only focusing on increasing the number of women fully participating political institutions and processes, we are also supporting political decision-making bodies to be gender-sensitive. We are implementing Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey project since 2015. Women’s political participation and empowerment of women in political area is an important target and mission to achieve gender equality. And it does not happen without the presence of women leaders. Women parliamentarians can have a strong voice in the legislature. We can only achieve gender equality until 2030 with the support of women parliamentarians and leaders.”

Zeina Hilal, Representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and IPU Coordinator of the Project, said that parliaments should have a profile that represents the whole society equally. “There have been significant progress in the representation of women in the parliament in Turkey. The rate of women parliamentarians is 17.4 percent. It is not enough but it shows the progress. This is not only Turkey’s problem but all over the world. Parliaments should have a profile that represents the whole society. It is important that parliaments be gender sensitive and gender balanced. Gender equality and development are linked to each other. If we want development, we have to make sure that women and girls are empowered,” said Hilal.

Ravza Kavakçı Kan, IPU Turkish Group Chairperson, said that women are capable of doing everything when we remove the obstacles. As women parliamentarians we had overcome many difficulties in Turkey for gender Equality.”

Malin Stawe, Head of Pre-Accession & Humanitarian Assistance, Embassy of Sweden said that empowering women is one of the key politics of Sweden. “We are financially supporting women’s political participation project in Turkey in partnership with UN Women”

Naim Çoban, Head of Strategic Development Department of Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), gave information about the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) practices in TGNA. Çoban stated that they carried out many activities on mainstreaming gender-sensitive budgeting in the parliament and they have enhanced the GRB practices with a systematic and holistic approach with the cooperation and support of EOC and UN Women. Naim Çoban said that they have trained budgeting experts of the TGNA and public institutions about the gender responsive budgeting.

Workshop aimed to assist parliamentarians of Turkey in their efforts to promote gender equality in parliament.

Parliamentarians focused on gender equality mechanisms and explored the possibilities of creating a women’s caucus and a gender equality unity as additional mechanisms that can further promote the work on gender equality in parliament.

Women in Politics Workshop organized within the “Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey” Project that has been implemented by UN Women, in partnership with EOC and IPU.