The Foundation for Women’s Solidarity is an independent women’s organization that aims to combat all kinds of violence against women through women’s solidarity. It establishes solidarity with women who are subjected to violence and works with feminist principles since its official establishment in 1993.
The origin of the Foundation dates back to the “Women’s Debate Group” formed in 1987 by a group of activist women in Ankara. This was a group which used to regularly come together through awareness-raising meetings where women’s experiences were shared and it has a great importance in the history of the women’s movement in Turkey with respect to its mediating role in the creation of awareness about the prevalence of violence against women.
After the experiences acquired in these meetings, some steps were taken regarding the need for founding a Women’s Counseling Center where women subjected to violence could get free support.
The first of these steps would be Ankara’s first “Women’s Counseling Center”, which was opened in 1991 with the cooperation of a municipality. Thus, the first cooperation between a women’s non-governmental organization and a local authority took place. In 1993, when the foundation was officially established, Turkey’s first feminist Women’s Shelter was opened, again with the cooperation of a municipality. While the shelter activities have ended for various reasons over the years, our independent Women’s Counseling Center, where we establish solidarity with women who have been subjected to violence, is still active today.
The Foundation for Women’s Solidarity contributes to social change towards ending the legitimacy of violence against women by generating pressure on women’s human rights through its work oriented to the public and the media. In addition, it carries out awareness-raising activities through various training programs on combating violence against women, for women who apply to the Women’s Counseling Center, for Foundation volunteers and professional staff.
The Foundation creates financial resources with donations and member contributions from various institutions, organizations and individuals, continues to exist with the support of volunteers; conducts public awareness and advocacy activities on violence against women.
In this context:
- We take part in platforms which aim to advocate for the making and implementation of legal regulations for the prevention of violence against women.
- We are one of the main components of The Assembly of Women’s Centers and Solidarity Centers, which, since 1998, brings together women’s organizations that combat violence against women in Turkey.
- We are a member of the Executive Committee for NGO Forum on CEDAW and Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform, which include the NGOs that prepare shadow reports on the official reports of Turkey prepared within the framework of CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention.
- We are a component of the Women Against Violence Europe Network (WAVE Network), which brings together women’s organizations that combat violence against women in Europe.
- We are a member of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) Turkey Coordination, of which we are also on the Executive Board.