PRESS RELEASE: Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways THE PURPLE SERIES

A first on Turkish television, women who have changed their lives by becoming aware of their rights are coming to share their stories…

The 12-episode documentary “Purple Series” produced by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways in collaboration with NTV will start being aired on NTV at 12.30 on Friday, February 10th, 2006.

The Purple Series brings to audiences the remarkable transformation stories of women participating in the Human Rights Education Program for Women (HREP), Turkey’s longest running and most widely implemented human rights education program.

The Purple Series features women exercising their rights in all areas of life from civil rights to violence against women, economic rights to women’s sexuality, and reproductive rights to women’s grassroots organizing. Contrary to television programs where women are portrayed as “victims”, this documentary series focuses on the true life stories and achievements of women who have become aware of their rights and have learned to exercise them. In it are the transformative experiences of women who, from being housewives, have gone to work as city bus drivers, build healthier and equal relationships with their husbands and families, returned to school to resume their studies, claim their sexual and bodily autonomy, get elected as local officials, find paid employment and organize around their own needs. The program will be aired on NTV every Friday at 12.30 over 12 weeks.

Also on the Purple Series Are Celebrated Artists and Writers!

Highly acclaimed women, known for their successful work in the art world, appear on each episode of the Purple Series with their opening and closing statements. These popular artists and writers including Ayşe Kulin, Derya Baykal, Ece Uslu, Gülben Ergen, Gülriz Sururi, Hülya Koçyiğit, Türkan Şoray, and Zeynep Oral contribute to increasing public interest in women’s and human rights in Turkey.

A Comprehensive Approach to Women’s Human Rights

Soon to meet audiences is the first documentary to be aired on television in Turkey with such a comprehensive and gender-sensitive perspective. The Purple Series will consist of episodes titled women’s human rights, civil rights, violence against women, strategies against violence, economic rights, women and sexuality, gender-sensitive parenting, reproductive rights, women and politics, women’s grassroots organizing, and feminism and the women’s movement, each making us witness to women’s transformative experiences from different cities including Ankara, Çanakkale, Istanbul, and Van. Featuring interviews with HREP participants, footage from training workshops, as well as interviews with trainers and experts, the documentary provides an account of women who have succeeded in achieving their rights and gender equality in every aspect of their lives in Turkey.

The Human Rights Education Program for Women (HREP): A Tool for Social Transformation

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2004, the Human Rights Education Program for Women (HREP) is still one of the world’s most widely-implemented and comprehensive rights education programs. Its aim is to raise women’s awareness regarding their diverse array of rights, therefore functioning as a tool for women to develop strategies to exercise this awareness and self-organize based on their own needs. The program has been recognized as “one of the best tactics in human rights worldwide” by the New Tactics in Human Rights Program of the Center for Victims of Torture. Developed by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways in 1995, it has been run in collaboration with the General Directorate of Social Services and Child Protection (SHÇEK) as of 1998. Having touched the lives of over 4000 women in 36 provinces across Turkey up to date, HREP emerges as one of the most successful examples of state-NGO partnerships.

On TV for the first time: A Comprehensive Documentary Series on Women’s Human Rights
Based on positive feedback from HREP participants and trainers as well as countless success stories as to how women exercise their rights in a variety of areas, the Purple Series has been produced by Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways in collaboration with NTV. Created as an alternative to the image of the “victimized, powerless, oppressed” woman we often encounter in the media, over a period of 12 weeks the program will bring to audiences the stories of women who have gained rights awareness and changed their lives. We hope for your support in publicizing the Purple Series, which we believe will contribute to spreading an awareness of gender equality and human rights from a women’s rights perspective across Turkey.

The Purple Series has been brought to life with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Body Shop Foundation. We extend our thanks to NTV and SHÇEK for their contributions to the preparation of this documentary.

For futher information: 

Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways
Tel. 212 251 00 29
Fax: 212 251 00 65
Email: newways@wwhr.org

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