Violence against women – policy-making and monitoring mechanisms at national and local levels
Turkey has committed to enhancing inter-institutional coordination and cooperation, developing local and national policies and improving the monitoring process of combating violence against women. It hasformulated policy-making and monitoring mechanisms at local and national level, as well as put in place provincial and national action plans.
National Action Plans on Combating Violence Against Women, setting out the main policy priorities, have been periodically implemented in Turkey. The National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women 2016-2020 was prepared based on national legislation and international conventions, notably the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). Together with the Third National Action Plan on Combating Violence Against Women, it aimed to address five primary fields of action: (1) legislative arrangements; (2) awareness raising and transformation of social attitudes; (3) provision of protective and preventive services; (4) empowerment of victims of violence; and (5) regulation and implementation of health services, institutional cooperation and policy development. The coordination and monitoring process of the Action Plan is carried out by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, General Directorate on the Status of Women.
Provincial action plans on combating violence against women are being prepared to implement the third National Action Plan more effectively in all 81 provinces. These action plans include comprehensive activities for efficient implementation of the legislation, awareness raising, developing institutional mechanisms, and increasing coordination and cooperation.
The ‘Committee on Monitoring Violence against Women’ has met regularly since 2006. Its aim is to share information and experiences on the activities, problems encountered and developments in combating violence against women. The Committee is composed of all relevant public institutions and organisations, universities and NGOs, and is coordinated by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, General Directorate on the Status of Women.
The ‘Provincial Commission for Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation of Combating Violence Against Women’ was established in 2016. Chaired by the mayor, it meets every six months, with participants from the highest levels of the relevant institutions. Reports of the meetings are periodically submitted to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, General Directorate on the Status of Women, and general monitoring reports are also prepared. This ensures that provincial activities are assessed by national experts, with feedback provided to the provinces to promote gender equality in their activities.
Implementing entity: Ministry of Family and Social Policy/General Directorate on the Status of Women
Impact of policy and monitoring mechanisms
It is important to monitor activities in the field of combating violence against women. The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (the coordinator designated under Law No. 6284 on Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence Against Women) evaluates the effectiveness of policies on violence against women by carrying out monitoring at both local and national level.
The Third National Action Plan on Combating Violence Against Women is an essential national-level policy pillar. Efficient implementation and monitoring of the Action Plan is necessary, together with evaluation of the extent to which the policies are effectively implemented. The ‘Committee on Monitoring Violence against Women’ was established to follow up the measures included in the National Action Plan and the Prime Ministry Circular No. 2006/17 on the ‘Measures to be Taken for Prevention of Violence Against Children and Women and Honour Killings’ and to evaluate current developments. Participants are drawn from all relevant public institutions and organisations, universities and NGOs, and the Committee is coordinated by the General Directorate on the Status of Women. The Committee meets once a year to evaluate the activities and developments in combating violence against women and to offer suggestions on this issue. To date, the Committee has held 11 meetings.
The provincial action plans on combating violence against women ensure more efficient implementation of the Third National Action Plan at the level of the 81 provinces. These provincial plans cover the period 2018-2021 and include comprehensive activities for effective implementation of legislation, raising awareness, improving institutional mechanisms, and enhancing coordination and cooperation. Annual one-day activity planning meetings are expected to be held to evaluate the first year of the action plan in each province. Guidelines have been prepared to extend the 60 existing provincial action plans to all 81 provinces.
The Regulation on Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centres came into force on 17 March 2016 and saw the establishment of Provincial Commissions for Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation of Combating Violence Against Women to ensure effective local-level coordination of the institutions working within the scope of Law no. 6284. These institutions deal with the evaluation of data collected in the field of violence, conduct activities to prevent violence and develop solutions for problems arising during implementation. Coordination of such activity is ensured by the Provincial Commissions, which comprise all members covered by the Regulation and meet every six months.
These meetings are reported by the Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centres and submitted to the General Directorate on the Status of Women, whose General Report is shared with the relevant institutions and organisations. The reports submitted to the General Directorate of the Status of Women are reviewed at both provincial and national level. Supervision support is provided at provincial level, with common issues identified at local level and joint solutions put in place at national level.
Transferability to other contexts
The monitoring mechanism can be used in the monitoring and assessment of all policy papers prepared by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, General Directorate on the Status of Women. It can also be used to follow up the ‘Strategy Paper and Action Plan on Combating Early and Forced Marriage’ and the ‘Strategy Paper on Women’s Empowerment’, preparation of which is ongoing. The monitoring mechanism may be revised and developed for application to other fields.
Learning and capacity-building potential
Addressing the problems encountered at local and national level within a platform that brings together all relevant parties speeds up the process and ensures that all parties take responsibility for issues and solutions.
Sustainability of the initiative
The First National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women entered into force in 2007, and the Third National Action Plan on Combating Violence Against Women is now in place. The Committee on Monitoring Violence against Women was first convened in 2007, during the first action plan, since which time it has assessed the activities conducted. The monitoring system has been used for 11 years. The Provincial Commissions for Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation of Combating Violence Against Women (i.e. the local monitoring mechanisms) were created under the Regulation on Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centres and have met since 2016. Efforts are made to ensure that the Commission meetings are adopted as a national monitoring system and their continuity is ensured.
National plans and strategies
The National Action Plan on Combating Violence Against Women 2016-2020 includes an activity that states ‘Efforts will be made for the effective performance of committees/boards at national and local level, which carry out activities within the scope of combating violence against women.
Achievements and tangible outcomes
- Problems encountered in implementing Law No. 6284 have been resolved.
- Local coordination is increased and maintained effectively.
- Institutions and organisations now attach greater importance to awareness-raising activities such as training and seminars on the issue of violence against women, and they carry out such preventive activities.
- Some municipalities have opened women’s counselling centres and women’s shelters, in accordance with the Third National Action Plan and the provincial action plans.
- There is more effective promotion of the ALO 183 social support phone line at local level.