Dear friends, The report on the impact research of the Human Rights Education Program of Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR) - NEW WAYS has been recently published. You can download a copy of the report at http://www.wwhr.org/id_843 Below, you can find a short summary of the program [***The Conclusions of the report are also included, Mod.***]. Pinar Ilkkaracan (Board of Directors) and Guvem Ture (Program Coordinator) Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR) - NEW WAYS Inonu Cad. 37/6 Saadet Apt. Gumussuyu 80090 ISTANBUL - TURKEY Tel: 90-212-251 0009 Fax: 90-212-251 0065 --------- WWHR's Human Rights Training Program for Women Human Rights Training Program for Women was developed by Women for Women's Human Rights-New Ways Foundation in 1995. Since 1998, the program is being implemented in Community Centers in 28 cities throughout all regions of Turkey, in collaboration with a governmental agency, the General Directorate for Social Services. The Program aims to: 1. Inform women of their citizen and human rights under the law and according to the international treaties Turkey is a party to 2. Assist women to develop an awareness and critical understanding of their legal rights 3. Awaken women to the ways and extent that customary practices (i.e. "unwritten" laws) often infringe on their rights 4. Enable women to exercise their rights in their daily lives and instigate social change 5. Stimulate the emergence of grass roots organization and networking among women. The objectives of the Human Rights Training Program are realized in two stages. First, we as Women for Women's Human Rights-New Ways Foundation, provide trainer's training for women to become group facilitators. Second, these facilitators form their own local groups and begin conducting workshops. Training for the first stage consists of an intensive 10-day course for the group facilitators who will implement the Program. Twenty to twenty-five expert social workers from the Social Services' community centers attend the annual training. The training includes detailed instructions on the Program's methods and their application to possible scenarios. The trainee trainers gain proficiency in handling group dynamics and how, for instance, to apply a feminist approach to aid a woman who is subject to domestic violence. We closely monitor and support trainers for three to four months during their first group workshop. This approach ensures that the number of group facilitators increases every year and that the number of women that the Program reaches grows. The local group workshops create a safe environment for the participants to express themselves, share their experiences and engage in discussions. A typical workshop would have about twenty attendees and the full program consists of 16 workshops over four months. The workshop methods are inclusive and cover such topics as human rights, women's human rights, constitutional and civil rights, economic rights, violence against women, reproductive rights, women and sexuality, communication, gender-sensitive parenting, models of grassroots organization, feminism, and women and politics. Characteristics of the Program: The Program is not a consciousness-raising exercise that women's groups can get together and implement at will. Its methods, content, exercises and "Trainer's Manual", which is distributed as a supplementary resource for trainers, are a unified whole and only trained and competent group facilitators should implement it. The extensive four-month long training is necessary because the objective is not to simply to teach classes but to encourage organization and begin a shared process of transformation. Each local group starts working by holding a needs assessment exercise. We consider this practice a prerequisite of meeting the needs of specific women living within various settings, and a prerequisite of ensuring the full participation of the group members, starting from the first workshop. [***Moderator's note: Below you will find the conclusions of "Women for Women's Human Rights – New Ways. Women's Human Rights Training Program 1995-2003. Evaluation Report" by Prof. Nuket Kardam. pp. 69-71.***] CONCLUSIONS The Women's Human Rights Training created awareness and understanding and increased the level of knowledge on women's human rights. The level of education of the participants varied inversely with the extent of knowledge they acquired. The least educated women were also the ones who learned the most about their rights. Most participants placed the most importance in learning about their civil rights. One important contribution of this program was to show women the existence of gender based discrimination in Turkish society, and begin to dispel the fears and ignorance around "feminism" and about "grassroots organizing." The participants gained greater self-confidence and raised awareness on discrimination against women and they developed a positive attitude towards solidarity with other women. They have, however, experienced some difficulty in convincing their family and community towards greater acceptance of their rights. There was inevitable internal and external conflict as they redefined and renegotiated their gender identities. The changes in them necessitated complementary changes in family members. The family relationships changed during and after the training as gender relations and norms had to be redefined and renegotiated. Many times, husbands and in-laws resisted the wives' demand for exercising their rights. It was a long and difficult process that for the majority ended in better and more equal family relationship as the survey indicated. Husbands felt threatened at first thinking that women's rights meant that the wives would now seek divorce. But in fact, in many cases the family relationships improved also thanks to the section on "communication" in the training. One of the most significant attitudinal changes occurred towards children in respecting and applying their rights and developing greater awareness of daughter's rights, especially awareness not to engage in discriminatory behaviour towards girl children. Participants received greater respect from their communities in many cases, although they also experienced ambivalent and conflicting attitudes by neighbors and other community members towards them. Freedom of expression was one right that most women learned to express on an individual level much more than before. About half of the sample exercised their right to education after their participation in the training. Joining an organization was still not easy for many: but 31% reported that they had joined an organization after the training. About one-third (28.8%) reported that they had begun to exercise their right to work after the training, and 8% started a new business. There was still reticence in the exercise of seeking remedy from state institutions, as 75% indicated that they had never approached government institutions on any basis. For many participants, the knowledge about various forms of violence such as physical, emotional and economic violence was a new concept, as well as the realization that they may be subjected to all three. It became clear that gender based violence was still widespread and although the majority were able to stop the violence they were experiencing after the training, some experienced an increase during and after the training. Even though one participant reported having divorced an abusive husband, there were many reports of helping a neighbour in seeking divorce, helping to find a shelter to a victim of violence, or to seek a civil marriage ceremony. Continued internalization of prevailing gender norms that discriminate against women, and fear of change in the face of potential retaliation and exclusion from family and community kept women from exercising their rights more extensively. A. Factors that Contributed to the Overall Success of the Program: * Length: the 16 week program made it possible for the participants to take the time to get to know each other, to digest the materials, to learn from each other and to begin to formulate common strategies; in a shorter program, such effects may not have been possible. * Strong follow-up and supervision by WWHR/New Ways: The social workers/ group facilitators and the participants always had the support of WWHR staff who were in constant contact with them. * The participatory principle of the training: The training program was constructed as a participatory process that promoted empowerment and the exercise of rights. * Translation and integration of global gender equality norms in understandable and clear language: These training modules made the information accessible to participants. * Collaboration with SHCEK [Directorate of Social Services, Mod.]: The partnership provided access to community centers, to the wide participation of women, and the oppurtunity for professional social workers to act as trainers and group facilitators. B. Outcomes * Learning about women's human rights and attitudinal changes leading to greater selfempowerment and confidence; * Greater exercise of rights, especially freedom of expression; right to education and right to work; * Greater respect for children's right in the family from a gender sensitive perspective; * Overcoming physical, emotional and economic violence; * Important steps towards grassroots organizing (ie. exercise of the right to assembly, to seek, demand accountability and the right to association). C. Recommendations for the Future Short Term: * Discussions with SHCEK based on mutual trust and dialogue on clear delineation of responsibilities and airing of concerns regarding the implementation of the program; a reestablishment of responsibilities (which includes provincial units), follow-up procedures and persons responsible for follow-up on each side; * For SHCEK to institute a reward/incentive system to encourage successful social workers/group facilitators; * A separate future project (apart from the training program) to support capacity building and leadership training for grassroots organizing efforts that have already begun (A workshop with the leaders has already been done in June 2002). Long term: * Enhancing participatory communication and appropriate principles and mechanisms of action between SHCEK/Ankara general directorate, local directorates and community centers towards greater effectiveness of joint NGO - state programs; * Bringing the program and its effects for discussion to the public agenda and in the media and search for other potential partners and ways of continuing and/or expanding the program (such as with GAP administration, Ministry of Education or other NGOs like Turkish Development Foundation). ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======== Send mail intended for the list to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/markup/maillist.php If you have problems (un)subscribing, contact <email@example.com>. **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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