|2008 First Evaluation Meeting (Kars DSI Meeting Hall) - 13 June 2008|
2008 First Evaluation Meeting of the United Nations Joint Program was held at Kars DSI Meeting Hall.
The Meeting was composed of two sessions. In the morning session, Programme Partners mentioned the progress on the Programme and reaffirmed their commitments. In the afternoon session, the official review and evaluation of the Programme took place. An official activity report of the first six-month period of 2008 was distributed to the participants.
The opening remarks of the meeting were made by the Governor of Kars, Mr. Mehmet Ufuk Erden and by the Mayor of Kars, Mr. Naif Alibeyoğlu. Mr. Erden and Mr. Alibeyoğlu expressed how glad they were about joining such a program while emphasizing the importance of being an educated society. Kars’ determination to reach the status of ‘women friendly city’ with all its institutions and practices was equally emphasized by the Governor and Mayor.
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı Foundation, Güler Sabancı expressed that, they were proud to be one of the partners in this program and stated “we need to work together in democracies to help bring the society forward. This program has been a very educating one in this area”. Güler Sabancı reminded that, “They have reached 823 high school teachers with the Purple Certificate Programme, implemented in six cities within the scope of the Joint Programme. These teachers were trained on the human rights of women and girls, and 33 of these teachers received a more extensive training in Sabancı University. This year, the University will host 50 more teachers for these extensive trainings. Our aim is to make the Purple Certificate as widespread as possible, achieving a snowball effect.”
Minister Atalay stressed that, “They are willing to contribute to every project that aims to raise awareness on the human rights of women and girls,” and emphasized the importance of education in his speech. Mr. Beşir Atalay maintained that they have done some significant work to achieve gender equality; one recent example for increasing women’s employment was a legislative change to allow employers’ share of the social security premium for women employees to be paid from the unemployment fund. Minister Atalay also talked about the legislative changes including the Turkish Criminal Law, establishment of a Parliamentary Commission, ‘Investigating the Reasons Behind Honor and Custom-Motivated Murders and Violence Against Women and Children, and Identifying the Measures to be Taken,’ and the Prime Ministry Circular 2006/17, which was inspired by the efforts of the Commission.
UNFPA Representative, Mr. Peer Sieben said that the Joint Program is supported by all of the UN agencies in Turkey, and that it is an exemplary program in establishing cooperation among UN, public institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector and foreign donors. Sieben commented that the inclusion of women into development and women’s rights continue to be major issues not only in Turkey, but throughout the world. Sieben stated that although there has been a significant improvement regarding the status of women within the society when compared to 20 years prior to now, there was still much more to be done. Sieben elaborated on the definition of a ‘women-friendly city,’ describing it as a city where economic, social and political opportunities are available to everyone living in that city equally, where women participate in planning and administration processes that have a direct impact over their lives.
Ayub described the UN Joint Programme as “the most comprehensive UN initiative for protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls.” Mahmood Ayub attributed the success of the UN Joint Programme to the strong cooperation and successful partnership among public agencies, civil society and the private sector, and added that, “the Joint Programme defines local partners as actors responsible for social transformation.” Ayub highlighted one important achievement of the Programme as the implementation of the LEAPs, locally formulated following a period of intensive capacity building activities, and that are reflecting the local needs and priorities of six cities. Ayub concluded his speech with expressing gratitude to Joint Programme’s stakeholders, the Ministry of Interior, Sabancı Foundation, women’s organizations, and foreign donors, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In the afternoon session, the official review and evaluation of the Programme took place. An official activity report of the first six-month period of 2008 was distributed to the participants.