At The Congress Organized By KADEM On The Theme Of ‘Civil Society And Women’, The Presence Of Women Within NGOs And The Impact Of NGOs in Which Women Are Involved On Society Were Discussed.

The Women and Democracy Foundation (KADEM) organizes an academic congress every two years under the leadership of the Journal for Women’s Studies to contribute to the literature, disseminate the accumulated knowledge, and promote scholarly research. The theme of the 9th KADEM Women’s Studies Congress, held this year, on November 2nd, at Istanbul University’s Beyazıt Campus Rectorate Building was ‘Civil Society and Women’.


The 9th Women Studies Congress commenced with opening speech by Dr. Sevim Zehra Can Kaya. Dr. Kaya emphasized, “As the most powerful women’s movement in Türkiye, we consider ourselves as carrier and sustainers of a centuries-old civil society culture. While civil society may seem like a modern concept learned from the West today, its roots in these lands run much deeper. For centuries in this geography, women have gathered around civil structures, advocates their rights, tended to the wounds of the nation, and pioneered social change.”

Dr. Sevim Zehra Can Kaya added that the congress aims to provide a versatile platform for discussions, placing a focus on presented papers and shared experiences. She highlighted its role in contributing to social policies and new strategies related to women and civil society.

The opening panel of the congress, titled “Foundation Women,” was moderated by journalist Semanur Sönmez Yaman. Among the panelists, Özden SÖNMEZ, the President of ILKDER Board of Directors, shared experiences with the title ‘Half a Century of NGO Adventure: ILKDER Women.’, Sevde Sevan USAK, the President of the Board of Sharing Is Life Association, presented “A Bridge of Goodness from Istanbul to the Masai Village in Africa.”, Ayşegül YILDIRIM KARA, the Founding Member of the Jerusalem Platform, shared her experiences under the title “A Spiritual Journey: Civil Society Studies in the Footsteps of Jerusalem”.



During the congress, which continued throughout the day in 3 halls with 12 sessions, Prof. Dr. Emine ÖZMETE was awarded first place with her presentation on “Psychosocial Support Practices for Women in the Earthquake Zone Centered in Kahramanmaraş: Needs, Expectations, Coping Methods.” Dr. Habibe Akçaoğlu secured second-place with her presentation on “The Role of Muslim Women in NGOs,” and Specialist Sociologist Hatice BALİN received the third-place award for her presentation on “The Transition from Traditional Patriarchy to Modern Patriarchy in the Woman’s Public and Private Sphere Process.”


The congress, organized under the leadership of KADEM in collaboration with Fatih Sultan Mehmet University, Ibn-i Haldun University, Istanbul Commerce University, Istanbul University, Istanbul Medeniyet University, and Marmara University, featured more than 40 presentations.

The session titles of the congress, which took place with the participation of academics from different disciplines, are as follows;

  • “Civil Society Activities of Women’s Organizations in History”
  • “Civil Society Structures”
  • “Women’s Movements in the Axis of Belief”
  • “Civil Society and Psychology”
  • “Visibility of Women in Civil Society Organizations in Turkey”
  • “Women-Focused Civil Society Structures in Turkey”
  • “Women-Focused Civil Society Structures Worldwide”
  • “Politics, State, and Civil Society”
  • “Disaster and Civil Society”
  • “Civil Society and Communication”
  • “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Women’s Education”
  • “Women and Family in Social Life”

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