Press Release

European Union and UN Women join forces to support civil society in Turkey for advancing women’s rights with € 4,5 million funding

04 June 2021

  • UN Women is launching a new three year-long project aiming to advance women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey with the financial support of the European Union. The project will contribute to the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality in Turkey by enhancing the capacities of and partnership opportunities for civil society organizations working in fields where gender gaps persist, taking into account the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project “Strengthening Civil Society Capacities and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Advance Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Turkey” will support the capacity development of and new partnership opportunities for the civil society organizations (CSOs) to advance women’s rights and gender equality.

It addresses the challenges and inequalities faced by women, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the key partners and stakeholders of the project are young women and men, students, women’s rights advocates, media professionals, government institutions and the academia. The project will be in action between April 2021 and March 2024 through € 4,5 million funding from the European Union. The main activities to be undertaken are as follows:

  • In partnership with CSOs, UN Women will put in place joint actions on eliminating violence against women and girls, increasing women’s access to justice and human rights mechanisms and women’s economic empowerment. In addition, up to 30 civil society organizations will benefit from small-scale grants to strengthen their institutional capacities.
  • Capacities and knowledge of women’s CSOs, media professionals and youth will be strengthened in critical areas where gaps exist, such as the gender dimensions of climate change, disaster risk reduction, data literacy; and analysis and use of gender statistics.
  • A comprehensive first-time research on the situation, needs and priorities of rural women from women’s rights perspective will be conducted.
  • UN Women will support platforms, alliances, networks and forums to exchange experiences at the local, national, regional and global levels among CSOs, women’s rights advocates and young activists to amplify their voice.
  • CSOs and women’s rights advocates will be provided with needs-based technical and financial support to boost their participation in inter-governmental and international conferences and processes.
  • A “Gender Equality Academy” will be established, offering high-quality training content on women’s rights and gender equality to different target groups.
  • Dialogue between the government institutions and CSOs will be bolstered in the context of intergovernmental processes.


The Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut said: “Gender equality and fighting violence against women is one of the top priorities of the European Union. In parallel with our goal to solve this problem, the project funded through the Civil Society Facility and Media programme, comes timely to support civil society organizations in their efforts. We appreciate our partnership with UN Women which is key to make the best of these common endeavours.”

On the occasion of the launch of the project, UN Women Turkey Country Director Asya Varbanova said: “Civil society has a critical role in our collective effort to achieve the commitments made in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals. Civil society organizations and the women’s movement are in the frontlines for advancing women’s rights and eliminating inequalities, which have increased as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can build the equal future we long for if we benefit from the knowledge, experiences and leadership of civil society organizations.”

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European Union and UN Women join forces to support civil society in Turkey for advancing women’s rights with € 4,5 million funding

Ebru Demirel

Ebru Demirel

UN Women
Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Goals we are supporting through this initiative