The joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Fostering women’s access to justice in Türkiye” held its first Steering Committee meeting in Ankara on the 16 March 2023. The members of the Steering Committee underlined the positive outcomes and results from the previous phase of the action such as the provision of legal aid to 270 women in 382 cases, and their positive expectations for the current phase
The Vice President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA), Sibel Suiçmez stated in her opening remarks: “The provision of legal aid for women and girls will undoubtedly respond to a very important need in the society. Thus, in these days when we are faced with the earthquake disaster that shook us all deeply; we will be touching the lives of more women and girls”.
Ahead of the Steering Committee meeting, the project team from the Council of Europe Programme Office in Ankara and from Strasbourg, jointly with the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Programme Office in Ankara Pinar Baspinar, met with the senior leadership of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (UTBA). The meeting concluded in positive notes and joint commitment towards a successful implementation of the action. The action will continue to provide capacity building activities to legal professionals and equip them with gendered knowledge and tools on provision of legal aid. The newly acquired knowledge will be used to provide legal aid to women across Türkiye in selected provinces.
The project team also had meetings with civil society organisations to discuss the emerging needs of women’s access to justice in general and specifically in the earthquake affected areas.