A gender equality approach is at the heart of all the work we carry out. As a 23-year-old women’s organisation, we have been working with men for 5 years. What we mean by a women’s organisation is as follows: 90 percent of our colleagues are women, we work for women’s empowerment, and we address the problems and solutions we face from a woman’s perspective. While carrying out activities to prevent gender inequality, we include both sides of this inequality – women and men – in our work.
In 2019, we created a workshop series for men to empower women against violence and gender discrimination that they are subjected to just because they are women. We named the workshop, which was created for Syrian men and implemented in Arabic, “Men’s Participation Workshop Series for Women’s Empowerment”. With these activities, we aimed to raise awareness among men on issues such as women and girls’ access to basic rights and services, and their empowerment by participating in economic and social life. We aimed for men to be supportive of all these processes through awareness raising.
In the workshop series, we are addressing (1) violence, (2) parenting, (3) women’s participation in the labour force and (4) gender equality. In the first workshop on violence, we talk about what violence is, the types of violence, and the dimensions of violence against women in the world and in Turkey. In the workshop on parenthood, we evaluate the meaning of being a father, the roles and expectations attributed to girls and boys because of gender inequality. In the workshop on women’s participation in the labour force, we talk about what this means, how women can participate in the labour force, and how women participate in the labour force in different countries. In the last workshop on gender equality, we discuss the negative effects of gender inequality on girls, boys, women, men, and families.
At the end of the workshops, participants express what they remember about the workshops through writing and drawing. Some of the feedback we have received so far are as follows: “We developed very good friendships in the meetings. We were talking and discussing until we understood what we learnt in the lessons perfectly”, “It was very good for me to learn these things when I was single. I learnt how to treat and support my wife and children when I get married in the future”, “Thanks to this study, people who would not have come together in Syria came together, and when one of us had a problem, we all took care of it”.
To raise awareness in more men for women’s empowerment, we are providing the Trainings of Trainers of this workshop series to the employees of different non-governmental organisations. In this way, we aim for different organisations to implement and disseminate these workshops with the men they can reach. In this context, we held the last of the practitioner trainings, which continued throughout 2023, in December. During the 3 full-day training, we worked together with the employees of non-governmental organisations from different districts of Adıyaman, İzmir and İstanbul to support gender equality.
In addition to the activities carried out within the scope of the Men’s Participation for Women’s Empowerment Workshop Series, in 2021, we produced the mobile game “Adventures of a Family Father”, which aims to raise awareness on gender equality for men. This game was the first game developed by a CSO on the theme of gender equality for men. In 2023, we published the Impact Analysis Report on the game. You can find the download links of the game and the Impact Analysis Report here.