SADA Women Development and Solidarity Centre Completes the Fourth Round of Seminars

News | 08 April 2019
The seminars on rights at work and fundamental rights in Turkey were held on 25 March - 3 April 2019 in the GESOB Events Hall with the participation of beneficiaries who completed the basic life skills and occupational training courses in the SADA Women Development and Solidarity Centre under the Project “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls” being implemented in Gaziantep jointly by UN Women, ILO and ASAM. Aiming to increase the knowledge of women beneficiaries on such core matters of working life as the working life, labour laws, and rights of working women, gender equality at work, and occupational safety and health in Turkey, the seminars were attended by a total 173 women beneficiaries of 129 Syrian, 5 Afghan, 1 Iranian and 38 Turkish nationality from Turkish A1 and A2, Computer Operating, Basic Makeup, Hair-dressing and Packaging, Shoe-upping, Textiles and Kitchen workshops. Aiming to facilitate and promote the entry of women beneficiaries of the Project into labour markets, the seminars are organised on six topics every. Organised regularly every two months, the seminars included the topic of Cooperativism in Turkey for which Ms. Melike Davaslı Okçu, an expert from the Ministry of Trade, met women beneficiaries on 28 March to provide information on women’s cooperatives.

Work Permits

At the seminar on 25 March 2019 with the participation of Ms. Aylin Çetin, an expert from the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, the participants were informed on the legal procedures for the access to labour markets by foreigners granted Temporary Protection and International Protection; and then, answers were given to the questions from the women beneficiaries relating to the problems in entering the world of work. Information was provided to the participants on the current work of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, and questions were answered on work permits.

Social Security Rights

At the seminar on 26 March 2019 with the participation of Mr. Mehmet Aliko, a Social Security Inspector from Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of Social Security, information was provided on the status of insuredness of foreigners achieved upon obtaining the work permit. Further information was provided on the rights of insuredness including particularly women’s rights in the social security system in terms of pregnancy, birth-maternity, and marriage. The participant women told about the problems encountered by their spouses in the world of work and experience of working uninsured; and emphasis was made on the importance of insured work.

ISKUR Active Labour Market Programmes

At the seminar on 27 March 2019 with the participation of Mr. Engin Güngördü, a job and vocational counsellor from Gaziantep ISKUR, information was provided to women beneficiaries of the Project on ISKUR’s mandate and activities, courses and events offered, ISKUR’s current projects, eligibility for benefiting from such projects, as well as how they could access Gaziantep ISKUR over the map. Detailed information was provided on job-seeking processes under ISKUR activities. Participants were also shown, using real participant information, how to register at ISKUR online system; then 127 women beneficiaries of 21 Turkish, 5 Afghan and 101 Syrian nationality were registered at ISKUR who wanted to participate in the world of work; thus, their job-seeking process was officially commenced.

Cooperativism in Turkey

As the founding work for SADA Women’s Cooperative was completed, Ms. Melike Davaslı Okçu, an expert from the Ministry of Trade, provided information on cooperativism to the project participants at the seminar. The seminar held on 28 March at GESOB Seminar Hall drew a participation of 241 women beneficiaries in total who completed their courses as well as from the ongoing workshops on shoe-upping, local food production, textiles and packaging. After watching a short video on the work of women’s cooperatives in Turkey, Ms. Davaslı stressed that women’s cooperatives were an important instrument to promote women’s participation in labour markets in Turkey. Information was provided to the participants on cooperatives’ areas of activities, establishment procedures, working principles as well as about some of the leading women’s cooperatives. Explaining the founding motto of SADA Women’s Cooperative as “one single hand cannot applause”, Syrian participants described the cooperative as a partnership through which women in solidarity produced together, shared together.

Occupational Safety and Health

At the seminar on 1 April 2019 with the participation of Ms. Burcu Ünal, an expert of occupational safety and health, information was provided to women beneficiaries on the obligations and rights of workers and employers under the laws including particularly in the legislation on OSH and Labour Law, Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155), culture of safety, risk assessment, work accidents and occupational diseases, signs of safety and health and ergonomics. Further information was provided to participants, particularly in the context of occupational training provided under the Project, on measures that must be taken at work, occupational diseases, protection methods, equipment for occupational safety, and the legal obligations of employers and workers for protecting against work accidents.

Gender Equality at Work

At the seminar on 2 April 2019 with the participation of psychologist Ms. Zehra Tosun, participants were first asked how their lives changed upon starting to visit SADA Women Centre in order to highlight the positive aspects of vocational training as one of the means to integrate into the world of work. The seminar also dealt with the barriers to women’s work such as negative social perceptions, family pressure, household chores, inadequacy of childcare services etc. Emphasis was also made on the evolution of gender roles, gender-based division of work and discrimination, importance of education for girls, protection of girls against early marriage

Role Models

The role models seminar, aiming to bring together successful business women with the Project’s beneficiaries, was held on 3 April 2019 hosting Ms. Güler Erat, the operator of Morjin Ev Yemekleri (Home Dishes). Cooking home dishes at a small restaurant with 3 women, Ms. Güler Erat narrated her story from starting as a 16-year-old child labourer to becoming a restaurant operator. Having concurrently worked and attended education, Ms. Erat stated that her fundamental motivation came from her stubbornness in the struggle through all domains of life, sense of achievement and desire of not to be dependent on another person. The presentation featured photographs from Ms. Erat’s business place, the most striking of which was Ms. Erat carrying 25-kg bags, and collectively doing every work with female colleagues. The seminar participants joyfully watched the short videos on which her colleagues communicated their greetings and best wishes to the seminar participants. Noting that nothing went to waste at the workplace, Ms. Erat stated that the life cycle was important, therefore the sent the food leftovers to villages for feeding chicken. Advising that “make sure that a woman is with you at all times” to emphasise women’s solidarity, Ms. Erat’s life story created emotional moments. The participants too shared examples from their lives which had changed over the challenging path they took with belief; and said to Ms. Güler Erat: “You infused us with a sense of hope, you showed us that the life did not end, and those who fought would eventually succeed.” One participant told that at the time when they fled the war to arrive here, they were like living-dead; however, thanks to SADA Women Centre, they started to feel alive again. This was cheerfully applauded by all participants.

CARE Micro-Credit Project Introduction

On 3 April, CARE Turkey Office met with women beneficiaries of the Project to empower and promote participation in working life of the beneficiaries of SADA Women Centre through various projects. The project intends to give repayable micro-credits of 1,000 to 1,500 TL to women who have business ideas but fail to start due to lack of finances, or women who wish to improve their existing businesses. CARE project staff made an introductory presentation, then provided women with one-on-one information at a desk, and received the applications from women who wished to benefit. Women who provided makeup and hair-dressing services at home filed their applications to procure equipment to improve their work; others to purchase fabrics to improve their tailoring skills; those who designed jewellery or made and sold home dishes applied to the project to develop their businesses through procuring new materials. The publicity event drew applications from 15 women who were given booklets for their continuation with the application.