In this episode, we will talk about human rights of women and a project in which man is the subject.
Faik Uyanık: This is the New Horizons Podcasts prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey. In this episode, we will talk about human rights of women and a project in which man is the subject. And our contributor is Feyhan Evitan Canbay from UNDP Turkey. Welcome!
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: I am glad to be here, thank you for having me.
Faik Uyanık: Thank you for being here today. Let me say few words about the project, very briefly. Kahramanmaraş branch of Turkish Union of Workers of Religious Affairs, which is shortly named DİVASEN, implemented a project together with Başkent Women’s Platform. The project was supported by Sabancı Foundation Grant Programme which is a component of UN Joint Programme for Promoting the Human Rights of Women. The name of the project is ‘Subject is Man’. It aims to draw the attention to violence against women with a completely different approach. So, what is the difference between this project and the rest of the projects on violence against women? It evokes some ideas when we say ‘Subject is Man’, but let us hear it from you.
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Up until to this date, in general, projects on violence against women have aimed to train, rehabilitate, empower or economically reinforce the victim rather than the perpetrator. One of the fundamental differences of this project is the fact that it is decided to implement a project which is not about the women who are exposed to violence but the men who committed violence. In the project, trainings were especially given to men, talking to them about how violence is harmful, how the results are catastrophic for the family and how they, themselves, are also affected negatively by all these.
Faik Uyanık: ‘Subject is Men’ project started in October 2013 and it ended in September 2014. What has been done as part of the project? Let us talk about activities and what do you think the most important outcome of the project is, since now we can talk about the results?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: With the project, it was mainly planned to train 8 women and 8 men to be the trainers and these 8 women and 8 men gave trainings on preventing violence against women in coffee houses, mosques, trade associations of Maraş and its districts. This was the general activity of the project. The particularity of these trainers were that women trainers were Quran course teachers, men trainers were imams. So we had the opportunity to get in touch with a group of people that we don’t have a chance to communicate with so often, and talked about the concepts of gender equality and violence against women. For me, one of the most significant outcomes is the fact that within the scope of the project, 700-800 men were reached, meaning these men were trained. It was very hard for joint programme staff to reach these people. These people were gathered in coffee houses, mosques to meet with imams. This training was also given even in vegetable and fruit markets and chamber of city polices. Therefore, we had the opportunity to reach people that until today seemed unreachable to us. Plus, people who were not aware of the concepts of violence against women or gender equality were trained on these subjects by probably the most trusted people in their community, the imams.
Faik Uyanık: Did you have a chance to talk to beneficiaries of the project? What were their observations? What did they say?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Certainly. First of all, I should say that I congratulate and appreciate DİVASEN, project implementer and Başkent Women’s Platform, project partner as they formulated a very successful project. Although the imams were the facilitators on bringing those people together in a place, it was the women hafizs who provided the training to those people. Can you imagine? In front of a crowd of men, as you will guess the level of conservativeness within the group, a women hafiz comes out and talks about different forms of violence saying ‘Actually I was a child bride as well, but I was lucky that my husband let me go to school, he might not have let me’. Yes, we were present in all trainings, and talked to final beneficiaries. Surveys were conducted before and after the trainings. Many of them said that until today they were not aware of many of their behaviors were actually forms of violence. For instance, we heard one beneficiary saying ‘If the woman asked for money when I was leaving the house, I wouldn’t give money. I would say I didn’t have any, however now I realized that this is a form of economic violence. Now when I am leaving the house, I ask my wife weather she needs money or not’.
Faik Uyanık: So it is a training programme about all forms of violence, not only physical violence. This is a United Nations Joint Programme. Could you briefly tell us, which UN organizations were involved?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Right now, there are two UN Organizations within the Joint Programme. UNDP and UN Women are working together. However, we are not on our own, Sabancı University and Sabancı Foundation works with us. We have implementing partners from the public sector: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Ministry of National Education, and the Union of Municipalities. However, each institution is responsible for conducting one component. Sabancı Foundation and UNDP are responsible for conducting the Sabancı Foundation Grant Programme. At the same time UNDP is responsible for conducting the whole programme.
Faik Uyanık: The Programme has provided grants to many projects. More information can be found on bmopkadinhaklari.org. If you wish to share your views about this episode, please use #yeniufuklar hashtag on Twitter. So, Sabancı Foundation Grant Programme gives the grants. What was the grant’s contribution to this Project and others? There are many beneficiaries as we see in this example. What does this grant programme, given by United Nations Joint Programme and Sabancı Foundation, offer besides financial support?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Sabancı Foundation is the funding partner of the programme, meaning the institution providing the entire financial contribution. In addition it is responsible for technical implementation of the grant programme. We mainly conduct the programme with UNDP. We have made a mapping study in the early stages in our pilot cities. We have designed the grant programme according to the needs of the NGOs – especially NGOs working for women. So it has been a programme in accordance with the demand and in which NGOs can easily and freely express themselves and implement their own projects. In this respect, we believe that almost all projects we have granted became very successful. We have many good examples. Not only ‘Subject is Men’ project. Hopefully, we will talk about the other ones as well, in the future.
Faik Uyanık: We will tell other stories as well. Of course, it is not only about financial contribution. So we are talking about a programme that gives technical, educational and professional support in many areas whatever is needed. So again, one last question: Although the results of the project are pleasing, it is important to make the outcomes sustainable. What is going to be done in order to keep the good results coming or getting even better ones?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Actually, the project implementer DİVASEN ensured these trainings will continue. It has also applied to Sabancı Foundation Grant Programme’s second call for proposals. Right now, it is implementing another project, which will support the outcomes of these projects and that is to train 200 imams in and around Maraş. Training these 200 imams means to give basic and unbiased trainings to people in almost all mosques and other Quran courses about gender equality and violence against women.
Faik Uyanık: One last question. As you said, United Nations Joint Programme for Promoting the Human Rights of Women, supports many other projects similar to ‘Subject is Men’. And it works on many projects concerning human rights of women. The Joint Programme has started in September 2012. In our last season, we had an episode about Joint Programme. What are the new developments in the programme? Now ‘Subject is Men’ is finished; however the programme still continues for another year, am I right?
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Yes. Our programme will continue with all its components until September 2015 however we made a second call for proposals in March 2014. Afterwards we gave grants to a total of eleven projects. Among these projects there are ones, which really step forward and become prominent. Of course, there were some in the first call for proposal but for instance now we have a project from Edirne, which will work on gender responsive budgeting and will include NGOs. There is one from Kastamonu, which will educate girl children between 15-18 years who go to pensions or stay in orphanages on gender equality, violence and sexual health. There is one project from Kayseri aiming to mentor the young girls from universities on how to be successful in their future professional life once they step into it. These are the first ones to come to my mind.
Faik Uyanık: Shortly, there are many upcoming projects.
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Yes. We believe that we work on different dimensions of women’s empowerment within very different scales. One should also underline that budgets for these projects are not more than 35.000 TL. We have proven what can be done with 35.000 TL in a province, in our first call for proposal. I believe we can prove it this time as well.
Feyhan Evitan Canbay: Thank you.
Faik Uyanık: In this episode, we talked about human rights of women and a project in which man is the subject. Our guest was Feyhan Evitan Canbay from UNDP Turkey. New Horizons podcasts prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey has come to an end for this week. This program has been recorded at the studio of Radyo İlef of Ankara University Communications Department. You can follow our program on FM frequency in İstanbul, on Açık Radyo (Open Radio) on internet, on university radios in our broadcasting network, on iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Pure Connect and Audioboo in podcast format, and also and on tr.undp.org. Our user name for social media is undpturkiye. Hope to see you soon, good-bye!
Feyhan Evitan Canbay, UNDP in Turkey