The Social inclusion, women’s empowerment and gender equality is at the very core of the UN Development Cooperation Strategy (UNDCS) for Turkey covering 2011-2015 with two specific outcomes targeting these priorities: Outcome 4 “Increased provision of inclusive and responsive public as well as community-based services to strengthen equitable access to knowledge, information and quality basic services (education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and human safety)” and Outcome 5 “Equal participation of women ensured in all fields of public sector, private sector and civil society with strengthened institutional mechanisms to empower women’s status.”
As stated in the Assessment of Development Result (ADR) carried out in 2009 of UNDP’s work since 2005, UNDP has made a strong contribution to social equity in Turkey and has been instrumental in promoting the concept of gender mainstreaming in Turkey and contributing to increase women’s participation in decision making processes. Building on this, UNDP’s Country Programme Document (CPD) 2011-2015 aims at building institutional and individual capacity that fosters inclusive participation and strengthens responsive and accountable governance institutions, including a deepened commitment to improving governance at the local level, with particular emphasis on building capacities on human rights and gender equality.
In the field of women’s participation to politics and decision making processes, where UNDP, in close cooperation with the women’s movement, has been investing to the establishment of institutional and human resource capacities for women empowerment, has contributed to the increase of proportion of women MPs in the Parliament and establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission of the Parliament for Woman and Man, along with its national counterparts, as well as strengthened awareness within media, particularly at local level, on gender concepts and the role media can play.
Despite The overall objective of the Programme is to contribute to enabling environment for greater accountability to women (and men) by strengthening the national gender equality machinery, including the Equal Opportunities Commission, and by enhancing their institutional capacities to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in legislation and policymaking processes, fully implemented, regularly monitored, evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted.
This objective is targeted to be achieved through a two pronged approach: i) capacity building for duty bearers such as the Parliament Equal Opportunities Commission and the legal experts of the Parliament, the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, the General Directorate in charge of women’s status, local authorities, special provincial administrations, women’s councils and gender equality bodies in municipalities and establishment of knowledge sharing platforms with parliamentarians ii) support for advocacy and monitoring of commitments to achieve gender equality to the rights holders such as CSOs and gender equality and women’s rights advocates, including experts and academics. Building on these key strategies to be followed, the Programme is expected to achieve the following outputs: i) improved capacities of the existing national gender machinery bodies to deliver on gender equality commitments, ii) strengthened gender mainstreaming into legislation, including review of the existing framework legislation through a gender lens and thus contributing to its full-fledged implementation, iii)strengthened advocacy work of women movement, including CSOs and networks working towards the elimination of gender stereotypes in all areas of life, and specifically in area of employment and political participation, iv) increased awareness among the public on gender equality.
The The Programme will directly contribute to achievement of the MDG 3 on gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as to Turkey’s overall democratic governance and local governance efforts.
Creating an enabling environment for meeting gender equality goals is a complex process and one which calls for continuous involvement of various stakeholders supporting reforms at three interrelated institutional levels:
• Review of national legislation through gender equality perspective,
• Creating incentives to better respond to the needs of women and gender equality, better monitoring performance aimed at supporting gender equality, removing barriers for women to access services, justice, etc.;
• Removing gender stereotypes.
Within this framework, the Joint Programme will build this momentum and foster an enabling environment for greater accountability to women (and men) by strengthening the national gender equality machinery, including the Equal Opportunities Commission. By strengthening the institutional structures and developing their capacities, it will ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in legislation processes and policy making and subsequently translated into full-fledged implementation, regularly monitored, evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted.