Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
The 2011 Global Gender Gap Report ranks Turkey 122nd of 135 countries for systematically disenfranchising women in political and economic life. In the face of daily violence and harassment, Turkish leaders advise women to stay home to prevent ill-treatment. Yet, 42% of women experience physical and sexual violence by a husband or relatives at some point in their lives. Combating a culture valuing female servitude and introversion, Canımız Kampüste targets students as an important first step in a larger movement for openness, inclusion, and progress. This university program uses real-world and digital tools to address women’s issues excluded from public discourse in Turkey: harassment, body image, and economic empowerment.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
We talk, we don’t turn away. Canımız Kampüste begins to crack open the silence of harassment through engaging university students in the discourse surrounding street harassment, particularly the topics of economic autonomy, rape culture, and discrimination. We design events with the internal culture of each campus in mind, while also generally focused on self-esteem building, story sharing, identifying responses to harassers, and including men in women’s issues (which conventionally excludes male participation in Turkey). Held each semester, these university initiatives have included: video and photography campaigns by students (Spring 2012 ‘Break the Silence’), student bloggers on our website, workshops providing safety tips in Istanbul, panel discussions, film showings (“Miss Representation” and “War Zone”), student generated art exhibits, and story collections moderated by a psychologist and lawyer.