Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways has always viewed women’s right to organize as a key issue and spent special effort to support not only HREP participants, but all women in their struggle to partake in political processes and form strong and autonomous organizations. Considering the spreading and fortifying trends against activism and the right to association in Turkey, accompanied with increasing conservatism and patriarchal backlashes, this ever-existing strategy that WWHR-New Ways has always prioritized gains even more critical importance.
WWHR believes that it is the feminist women’s organizations within the women’s movement that develop discourses, political analysis and policy, and practices on many vital issues for the attainment and practice of women’s human rights. Therefore increasing the number of feminist women’s organizations, and supporting and empowering the existing ones is most crucial for the sustainability of the movement.
Since its inception in 1995, HREP, one of WWHR-New Ways’ longstanding programs, has not only been one of the most effective catalysts that has increased the number of women and rights advocates and activists in the movement, but it has also triggered the establishment of many women’s groups and strived to empower existing ones.
Furthermore, despite all the challenges, WWHR-New Ways is one of the few feminist organizations that have maintained organizational and financial stability since its foundation in 1993, and in this respect it is among the noteworthy women’s organizations in Turkey, functioning as a reliable resource and example among feminist organizations in Turkey. WWHR has accumulated knowledge, skills, and initiated, built and been part of networks throughout all these years, becoming a uniquely positioned organization as a ready source of information, knowledge and experience that can be transferred to organized grassroots women’s groups and initiatives.
In the framework of capacity building of grassroots women’s groups and organizations, which we have identified as a key program area in line with our priorities, WWHR-New Ways plans to:
– Conduct a mapping survey of locally organized women’s groups and grassroots NGOs in Turkey,
– Do a needs-analysis study in the field,
– Develop a capacity building training program and related manuals in light of the results of the mapping survey and needs-analysis study.
This capacity building program will entail topics such as organizing, legal framework, fundraising, advocacy, project and program management, strategic planning, conflict management and resolution, media relations, networking and coalition building. The training program and manuals will be revised and finalized following pilot implementations. Our belief that this training program and manuals will contribute to the strengthening of grassroots women’s organizing and local women’s organizations is WWHR-New Ways’ primary motivation and source of enthusiasm regarding this program which is expected to begin in 2015.