Kars municipality has acted to assist women during the pandemic. Kars Municipality Co-mayor, Şevin Alaca, confirmed that violence against women has increased in the city, especially during the lockdown. She added that there is an intense demand from women for the municipal services of the Women’s Solidarity Centre.
by Seda Taşkın
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Kars Municipality took over from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) with a debt of 338 million, 380 thousand TL. Despite this, the HDP started new projects for women and the public despite the financial situation. We talked to Kars Municipality Co-mayor, Şevin Alaca, about the work that has been carried out by the municipality over the past 16 months.
Alaca points out that many women’s projects have been promoted. Firstly, the Women and Family Services Directorate was established through the assembly. Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women and children is its priority concern. Women’s unemployment is also a serious issue that is being addressed. The most important demand from women, she noted, was the need to address the unemployment crisis facing them. Women have emphasized how important their economic freedom is in order to be free from domestic violence and pressures from family members.
Establishment of the Women’s Solidarity Centre
Alaca highlights the manner in which the Ministry of Internal Affairs failed to conduct campaigns to meaningfully assist women during the pandemic. However, “the Women’s Solidarity Centre was established by the municipality as an alternative method” to address these crucial concerns, she notes.
Domestic violence increased as there were calls to “stay at home” during the pandemic lockdown period. The Women’s Solidarity Centre sought to respond to these problems by providing support and advice and directing women appropriately for further assistance.
Social workers have helped people directly suffering from violence, who are seeking divorce or seeking assistance over other matters. “We received many calls during the pandemic. We had a meeting with the Kars Law Association about this issue. They support us in violence and divorce related cases”, she said.
An elderly care unit has been established
The unit assists the elderly who are alone in their homes during the pandemic. Alaca noted that: “During the pandemic, our elderly people could not leave their houses and safely go to the hospital. During the pandemic, we have provided these types of services to assist them”.