WLP Turkey Collaborates With Local Women Coops in Van and Mus


In June-July and October-December, 2013, WLP Turkey/Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (FSWW) (info in English here) worked with local women’s cooperatives in the provinces of Van and Mus in holding two training series using WLP’s Leading to Choices (LTC) curriculum. The trainings focused on political participation, organizational capacity building, identifying the key challenges presently facing Turkish women, and creating strategies to deal with those challenges. Participants also engaged in role-playing exercises in preparation for local/international media interviews, and discussed plans for future meetings, seminars, and media appearances.

The two workshop series’ 37 participants, aged 13-60, came from a variety of social and economic backgrounds. Some participated to support their goal of starting their own organizations or initiatives, while others wanted to gain confidence in asserting themselves publically and politically. Van workshop participants identified domestic violence, lack of women’s education, the traditional requirement for women to have a male chaperone in public, child marriages/forced marriages, and honor killings as among the biggest issues presently facing Turkish women. Responding to these challenges, participants developed plans for more community resources including a new women’s shelter, and a foundation supporting young women’s right to an education.  

Participants’ reported enhanced leadership skills and self-confidence as a result of the trainings. “I am very excited about establishing a cooperative and I want to work in the women and children center to gain experience,” said one workshop participant after its completion. “Before, I wasn’t planning things and just waiting for things to happen, but now I started to plan,” said another.  A third shared that through the training she “recognized that women had the power of being a leader like men. I will be working on this with my daughters and tell them how strong they are indeed.”

FSWW also continued working to expand the availability of early childcare in 2013, an ongoing priority for FSWW due to the combination of Turkey’s rapidly shifting demography and the large number of women seeking to enter the workforce. 

S:SSO to Sakai