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Description of the program

 

FYEG is organizing a seminar "Demasculinisation of Politics" from 4 - 9 March 2017, in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the project is to support empowerment of the non-male young politicians and activists to take part in democratic processes. The motivation for this project is based on continuous and alarming lack of non-male political leadership on local and/or international level. With the seminar “Demasculinisation of politics” FYEG wants to address the persistent gaps in Gender policy and practices and current decision-making structures, and assess their openness to reforms. Together with participants we want to identify creative and successful innovations to overcome inequitable gender relations that create barriers for women and non-male youth to successfully participate in democratic processes.

 

We find it essential that people who are constantly being discredited based on their sex, gender and sexual orientation take a lead in the struggle against very prevalent patriarchal patterns of policy making. That is why FYEG organized exclusively non-male seminar with the goal of addressing the problem of perpetual masculine domination in politics.

 

We have set for ourselves 4 main objectives:

  1. to support empowerment of the women with disadvantaged backgrounds through confidence building

  2. to confront gender hierarchies in policy-making

  3. to support non-male representation within the structures of our Member Organizations

  4. to provide participants with an opportunity to develop lasting relationships and support networks

 

To achieve these objectives, prep team has planned a 4-day seminar. We will launch the program with the welcoming dinner and evening on 4 March (arrival day), to get to know each other in relaxed and informal atmosphere. Afterwards, program will continue as follows:

 

Sunday, 5th March - Day 1

The aim of the day is to establish the ground for the future work together, nivelate the experience and knowledge within the group and balance the expectations with the actual program taking place. To start the process, we also need to know towards what we are going. Hence, prep team would like to discuss together with the participants follow up and expected outputs from this event.

 

Introduction

In the first session of the program we will introduce the organizers, prep team, project aim and objectives, program and basic rules for joint work. Prep team would also like to hear your expectations, fears, contributions to find the best way how to address them during our week together. We will also introduce basic communication rules - such as a sign language and being aware when addressing each other. Already at this stage, prep team will present the idea of a follow up and open the floor for suggestions from participants.

 

Demasculinisation of Politics

After setting the project frame, in the second session we want to introduce basic terminology relevant for the project content. Through interactive method we will explore together the meaning of some terms and concepts such as politics, activism, power, etc.

 

Power mapping

Talk about politics, social systems and patriarchy, can’t be done without talking about power. In  this session we will look into different power relations in politics and how they relate to gender. We will hear feminist ideas about power, domination and structural discrimination, oppression, and participants will learn how power inequalities in general society influences the realm of politics through interactive exercise. We will benefit from the input provided by Begüm Başdaş, campaigns and activism coordinator for Amnesty international. She mainly works on feminist theories of power and received her PhD from University of California LA (USA) working on human geography with a focus on gender studies.

 

Recognizing patriarchal structures

One of the greatest threats of patriarchy is that it is so rooted and embedded in social structures and our own system, that sometimes the biggest challenge is to recognize it and give it a proper name. Some behavioral patterns are subconscious, and we aren’t even aware we might be multiplying them. Greens are not immune. In the last topical session of the day, participants will be given safe space to share their own organizational experiences, struggles and challenges they faced in their activist life.

Monday, 6th March - Day 2

Following up on the previous day, we will look deeper in the topic - the discrimination patterns and experiences of non-male politicians and activists. The goal of this day is to complete the full picture on the extent of the problematics we are dealing with (get to know thy enemy!). For this purpose, we will have many guests, and we’ll get to learn more about Turkish reality.

 

Queering Politics

We will start the day with the panel discussion on struggles of queer (trans, non-binary), lesbian, non-male people in political structures and processes with Sevil Turan, former spokesperson in Green and Left Future Party in Turkey, Sedef Çakmak, Member of CHP Beşiktaş Municipality City Councilor and human rights activist, Mina Tolu, Communications Officer at Transgender Europe. We would like to have a fruitful panel lead with your questions and comments present therefore we will appreciate if you can send your questions prior to the panel latest on the March 2nd. You can send your questions or discussion points to paula.keller@posteo.de cc'ing cansuyetisgin@gmail.com.

 

Intersectionality and race in binary politics

With this session we want to introduce intersectionality and people experiencing multiple layers of discrimination. Different case studies will be used. We will explore how activism can be made more inclusive.

 

Visiting women’s solidarity network

Divided in groups, participants will do a study visit to different organizations in Istanbul working on various gender topics. They will conduct interviews and collect impressions, later to be presented to each other. Aside from seeing what others are doing, this will provide us with insight into specificities of Turkish society and enable networking with local organizations.

 

Women in EU parliament

Special guest of this event is MEP Terry Reintke. She will share with us her own experience of a young woman in high politics - what challenges did she face on the way and is still experiencing now. Terry is a member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and will present us what’s new cooking on EU level.

Tuesday, 7th March - Day 3

After observing the situation from different angles, on the 3rd day we want to focus on finding the tactics to confront gender hierarchies in policy-making. This day will be all about finding the solutions and we want to offer to our participants and member organizations mechanisms how to support participation of non-males in their organizations and achieve better equality and inclusion.

 

Reforming patriarchal structures

We will start the day by remembering important and inspiring women who have made significant changes for gender equality. Through interactive exercise will highlight the progress that women have made in the last century for reforming the patriarchal structures. Knowing the legacy behind us, allows us to build on what was already done before and enhance our goals.

 

Penetrating Politics

In this session we want to explore different methods and practices on how to come closer to demasculinized politics, we want to identify different practices that organizations / structures can implement to reach equality. In this we also expect to build on the organizational experiences of our participants. What exists beside quotas? What else should we do to change the situation?

 

Practical empowerment activities I and II

While in the morning we will be focusing on procedures and regulations useful for improving our organizations, equally important aspect is personal empowerment of the participants. How to boost our confidence? How to break the barriers we have been carrying all of our lives? Participants will have an opportunity to delve deeper in their inner selves and learn tactics how to work on themselves. For this session we will have a external input from two trainers.

Wednesday, 8th March - Day 4

The last day of the seminars are always about wrapping up, conclusions and saying good bye, and this will be no different. We will remind ourselves on different phases of the program and collect what we have learned, we will discuss plans for the future and possible cooperation. And lastly, we will close this event through evaluation and farewell, with optional joining the demonstration for the 8th of March.

 

Activist’s guide to demasculinising politics I and II

One of the outputs of this seminar will be a publication that will gather knowledges gained during this week. Prep team will propose a structure to the participants, but the final idea will be polished with the group. During the morning we will work on producing the publication which will be result of our joint work. What we want to cover is: 1. Problems that non-males face in political processes / structures; 2. Different solutions - from organizational to personal; 3. Resources (within and outside of the Greens). We will also discuss implementation and distribution of the publication.

 

Follow up session

A session where participants can discuss topics, projects and future cooperations they would like. We will use the method of Open Space where people can propose whichever topic they want.

 

Evaluation

Closing session of the seminar where participants will in written and verbal form evaluate the project: from preparation period to the seminar itself, work of the prep team, program and logistics.

 

Special program

Morning circle

Every day we will start with a morning circle, where prep team will present the daily agenda, make the most important announcements and check where we are now with the program and learning. Inevitable part of the morning circle are… ENERGIZERS!

 

Home Evaluation Group (HEG)

Daily programme will finish with the HEGs. HEGs are evaluation groups that will be formed at the beginning, will be moderated by the prep team member, and they will stay the same until the end of the seminar.

 

Evening programme

 

Important aspect of getting to know each other and socializing are happening in the evenings. Every day prep team will offer a different activity to spend quality time together, enjoy each other's’ company and Istanbul nights.

 

 


 

 

Resources

 

Demasculinisation of Politics publication

 

Austrian Young Greens: Gender-strategy

 

Swiss Young Greens: Gleichstellungspapier Junge Grüne

 

German Young Greens: "Little ABC of Equality"