Our work with men with the aim of empowering women continues. Following the Male Participation for Women’s Empowerment Workshop Series, this time we are coming together on gender-based violence. Meetings aimed at raising men’s awareness on this issue take place every week at the Women’s Consultation Center. Participants are adult, married Syrian men with children. Meetings moderated by Dr. Ali Çağlar Deniz provide participants with an unprejudiced interaction space where they can express themselves at ease. In this area, we aim that their understanding and awareness towards the violence that women experience increase.
In the meetings, the participants first share their definitions of violence and their experiences. With the questions of the moderator, they talk about types of violence such as early marriage, physical violence, emotional violence, economic violence and discuss why these are violence. Later, the moderator of the meeting asks whether women have been subjected to some forms of discrimination and violence because they are women. With this question, the participants find the opportunity to reflect and exchange ideas on the violence experienced by women. They discuss the discrimination and violence that women experience because they are women, based on their own experiences. In this section, the importance of respect and communication against violence, the protection of laws, examples of divorce and restraining order, and different solutions are discussed. It is observed that some participants’ stances against violence change at the end of the meeting, and many participants questioned their own opinions.
At the end of the meeting, information is shared about the rights of women in case of violence and application mechanisms in the legislation in Turkey and in international laws. In this part, the participants actively participate in the meeting by reading the information projected on the screen.
The first period of the meetings, which we started at the end of ay, was completed at the end of June. The meetings were met with keen participation and interest. We received feedback from the participants such as “it feels very good to talk and to be asked about my life, it feels like oxygen to be asked our opinions as Syrian men, it is very nice that people work with violence in this country, it is good to attend a meeting for the first time in Turkey where racism is discussed”.
The second period of the study started in July. We continue to meet with new participants every week to talk about violence and to better understand the violence experienced by women.