Empowering Access to Justice for Women

Project Summary
Grantee : Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation
Purpose : Empowering access mechanisms to justice for women subjected to violence and discrimination by increasing quality in legal assistance
Location : Bursa, Eskişehir, İstanbul, Trabzon
Grant Amount : 186.340 TL
Project Partner : İstanbul Bilgi University Human Rights Law Research Center
Period : 16 July 2018 - 12 July 2019
Status : Completed
Project Year : 2018


Women are subjected to violence and discrimination based on gender both in Turkey and the world. Although legal regulations exist in Turkey, some discriminative approaches continue in the application of these regulations. Increasing knowledge and awareness of lawyers registered to legal assistance offices, may increase the access to justice for women subjected to violence and discrimination, and the quality of legal assistance.

Project Goals

  • A training program will be designed about international standards and national legislations concerning women’s rights.
  • Bars in Bursa, Eskişehir, İstanbul and Trabzon will be visited and groups of 25 lawyers will be formed in each city.
  • 100 lawyers registered to legal assistance offices will be trained on legislations concerning violence against women.

Project Results

  • A seminar program was designed for lawyers on international standards and national regulations about woman rights and techniques for interviewing women who are exposed to violence.
  • A handbook covering international law standards, national legislation and case-law examples was prepared to be shared with seminar participants.
  • Two-day long seminars were organised in four different cities including İstanbul, Bursa, Eskişehir and Trabzon for woman lawyers registered in legal assistance offices. Total of 93 lawyers were reached.
  • Beside legal regulations, the importance of women lawyers' unbiased and non-hierarchical attitudes toward women exposed to violence were emphasized. By this way, woman solidarity was supported.
  • A follow-up meeting was held with 16 women lawyers, who volunteered from the seminar participants in four cities, and deepened the knowledge learned in the seminar program through case studies.


““The gender inequality must stop in order to eradicate male violence. And our struggle is to throw a monkey wrench into this inequality.” ” Aslı Elif Sakallı - Project Coordinator

““I have noticed that we need to talk about CEDAW and the İstanbul Convention a lot in the local law. I mean talking about it would create a pressure on judges. Judges may not know about these conventions, but I can continuously refer to the conventions in my petitions to teach them. This idea seemed very reasonable. In fact, I took on a divorce file from the Legal Assistance after the training. I referred to the conventions in the petitions just to make the judge see them. It was a nice thing.”” A Lawyer and Training Participant from İstanbul

“I have noticed we sometimes blame women even if it is about women’s rights. I mean why they do not demand their rights, why they let a man do such a thing, etc. I now know that my approach towards them has changed.” A Lawyer and Training Participant from Eskişehir


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