Human Rights

Logbook of International Conference on Gender Equality and Local Governments

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

What happened in International Conference on Gender Equality and Local Governments?

Black Pink Triangle and Kaos GL Associations have organized an International Conference on Gender Equality and Local Governments in Istanbul. The Conference has taken place at Taksim Gönen Hotel on 22-23rd February.

Opening speech of the conference has been given by Lawyer Sena Yazıbağlı Gül from Black Pink Triangle. Addressing the LGBTI+ ban in Ankara, Gül said: “Being together here makes us happy”.

“What is gender? Why cannot we be equal?

In the first session of the conference, “What is gender? Why cannot we be equal?” questions has been discussed. In the moderation of Demet Yanardağ from Black Pink Triangle, Assistant Prof. Reyda Ergün, Associate Proffessor Zeynep Alemdar and Aylime Aslı Demir from Kaos GL lead the discussions.

Comparing the first and second wave feminism, Ergün emphasized that legal processes has always come slowly after the political processes. Second speaker Alemdar told that under the Istanbul Convention gender equality has to be guaranteed in laws in Turkey. Lasltly, talking about the junk spaces, Aylime Aslı Demir told that predictability of urban spaces make us weak rather than strengthening us.

Municipalities and gender equality

In the second session of the first day, “What can we do to achieve gender equality?” has been discussed with the participation of international speakers. In the moderation of Erdem Gürsu from Black Pink Triangle, Arnaud Gauthier-Fawas from Equality Ambassador from France, Simon Timmerman from COC Netherlands and Matthieu Gatipon-Bachette from France CouleursGaies shared their experiences in international field. 

First speaker Gauthier-Fawas told about the importance of the visibility while talking about their cirt Metz. Gatipon-Bachette underlined the significance of forming anti-discrimination offices in municipalities. Lastly, Timmerman told about their work with municipalities in small cities and their work on “rainbow ballot box”.

Second day: Workshops and Struggling together

Second day has started with two concurrent workshops: “My City: Looking at the city with gender equality perspective” with the moderation of Elif Avcı and “Digital Advocacy” with the moderation of Pınar İlkiz. 

After the workshops, second day continued with the panel session themed “What can we do together to achieve gender equality? What is the relation of municipalities with the issue?

In the moderation of Sedef Çakmak from Beşiktaş Municipality, Dragana Todorovic from Equal Rights Association from Western Balkans and Turkey (ERA), Bekim Asani from North Macedonia LGBTI United Tetovo, Halim Kır from SPoD Association and Equality Unit of Şişli Municipality and Ahmet Soner Emre from Konak Municipality has had their speeches.

Bekim Asani as the first speaker told about the experiences and struggle of their association under religious oppressions in Macedonia. Todorovic addressed the discrimination against LGBTI+s and the differences between laws and reality. Kır mentioned the “Şişli Oda” serving under Şişli Municipality and told about the LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol prepared by SPoD and Young LGBTI+ Associations. Lastly, Emre told about the HIV test center and voluntary consultancy serving under Konak Municipality.

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