WWHR – About Women's Rights in Turkey. My experience
The Women's Rights Educational Program – Women for Women’s Human (WWHR) was developed for such purposes as protection of women's rights in private and public life, prevention of violation of rights and assisting in developing organizations targeting social, legal and political amendments.
Since 1995 overall 15 thousand women have been involved in the activities of KIHEP. Thus far the training program is one of the most common, reliable and comprehensive program with regard to human rights in Turkey as well as in other countries. In 2004 under the scope of the project «New Tactics» presented by the International organization «Survivor of Torture Center», KIHEP was selected as «one of the best human rights programs in the world». From 1998 to 2012 KIHEP collaborated with Ministry of Child Advocacy and Ministry of Social Protection and carried out several programs.
I consider my decision to take part in the activities of this organization one of the most right decisions in my life. My collaboration with KIHEP started when I had lost hope that good things could happen in my country. I found the page of the organization in a social network through my friend and joined their forum at once. I thought that at the training we would be told only about rights of women and we would also be taught to protect our rights but I was way off the mark! The training was by all odds versatile. 16 weeks of trainings were made up as follows: general rights of women, constitutional and civil rights, violence against women and domestic violence, combating violence against women, economical rights, communication, gender roles, education and rights of children, woman and sexuality, reproductive rights of women, feminism and feminist movement.
Not only did we study our rights but also we were changing while studying. And by changing ourselves we were learning the best sides of each other. There was an architect, a journalist, a psychologist, a sociologist, a teacher and women of other various professions among us. We were of different ages, grown up in different conditions, but owing to KIHEP we got to know each other. On our first Sunday meeting I realized that it would be useful for me to get to know so many people. However, at first I deemed that 16 weeks, every weekend for two hours would be too boring for me. But soon I discovered that I was looking forward to next Sunday.
Every Sunday 20 women met and learnt something new about rights, discussed what they were capable to change. When we were together, we felt stronger in all matters owing to our team spirit. We shared painful stories with each other, e.g. man violence, and it empowered us and gave us strength of mind. Every Sunday after the training I felt more confident and enthusiastic. Because when I saw the positive changes in me, I believed that I was strong enough to change the world around me. There is one more reason why this training was special and useful for me. It is Ozge Gonchu. This girl with a constant smile on her face brought knowledge and patience to my life.
Providing with the necessary knowledge KIHEP made me more confident and at the same time helped me psychologically. I know that when I begin to work as a consultant for women's rights I will see a great result in my work notably owing to KIHEP training.
On April 1st, 2018 the ceremony of awarding the certificates was held. We were all happy to take part in that educational program, become its part and receive the alumnus certificate. When the master of the ceremony read my name, for me the most important thing was to share this happiness with the other participants that had become my sisters during this training program.
I wish all women to feel strong, confident and special. I hope that you can contact the KIHEP representative in your town and receive the necessary information.