Women Participation for Sustainable Cities

Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation
Türkiye Ekonomik ve Sosyal Etüdler Vakfı (TESEV)

Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation Turkey, completed the “Women Participation for Sustainable Cities” project under the “Supporting Sustainable Cities” program that they initiated in 2016.

This project aimed to inquire the obstacles women face in participating in social, economic and political life and to provide policy recommendations for a participatory sustainable city. In order to determine daily obstacles women face, TESEV implemented an innovative method called Deep Democracy. Deep democracy sessions led by the expert Ege Erim gathered women from different socio-economic backgrounds and opened a new space for exploring challenges of participation in economic, social and political life.

The fieldwork initiated in Antakya, Istanbul, Kars and Mersin led by Ege Erim allowed women to actively discuss the obstacles they face in participating in the city such as access to workforce, transportation, infrastructure, share of domestic work load and local politics. Participants underlined the importance of achieving gender equality in all areas of life.

Compared to traditional methods like panels and conferences that aim to train a group, the deep democracy method was observed as very efficient for active participation and for enhancing self-expression.   

TESEV in collaboration with FNS Turkey will publish field notes on its social media accounts as well as three policy briefs by experts on women’s social, economic and political participation to the city on its website.