Integrating Gender into Research in Turkey


The RWI Turkey Programme has for a long time recognized that gender often is ignored in many research proposals. This is largely due to the lack of capacity and knowledge.

Even though the Programme receives an impressive amount of high-quality gender-targeted research proposals for the research grants and scholarships each year, gender is far from being systematically addressed in Turkey. Seeing that gender relations is one of the central dynamics to many human rights issues, integrating that perspective in human rights research is essential.

The Programme has decided to develop a gender toolkit and held a first training with fifteen master and Ph.D. students recently in Turkey. The students come from nine different universities throughout the country. The workshop aims to raise the researchers’ awareness of the importance of gender integration while increasing their own capacity.

“I hadn’t considered gender when I was designing my research or reading the literature. Thanks to this training, I learned how to integrate gender into my ongoing Ph.D. studies and future research. In that sense, this training has broadened my horizon.”
Comment from participant 

Two days with three experts on militarism, health and migration 

The participants are all currently doing their research projects in the field of human rights or writing their thesis. The training, which was done in collaboration with Sabancı University Center of Excellence for Gender and Women’s Studies, was facilitated by three experts: Ayse Gul Altinay, an associate professor of cultural anthropology and the director of Center of Excellence for Gender and Women’s Studies at Sabanci University; Aysecan Terzioglu, an associate professor of anthropology at Sabanci University; and lastly Burcu Yakut Cakar, an independent researcher and trainer holding a Ph.D. in economics.

During the first day, each expert gave lectures on how gender matters in their respective fields of research expertise. These were militarism and memory studies, health and migration studies, and socio-economic rights and economics.

The lecturers also shared their own research experiences of integrating gender and handling potential challenges in the research field. On the second day, participating master and Ph.D. students presented their research proposals and got feedback and practical recommendations on how to integrate gender into the content and methodology of their research projects.

The training received positive feedback from participants saying that this two-day training changed the way they approach their research topics, enabled them to see the aspects that they never thought of before, and provided them many new practical ideas to develop their research.

Through this training, RWI has targeted the recipients of RWI’s short-term scholarships and the fellows of Raoul Wallenberg Ph.D. Support Programme in Human Rights and aimed at increasing these junior researchers’ capacity to design and conduct gender-responsive research projects. 

“It was very beneficial to have these two days with each of these professors who have done very significant studies in their fields. Listening their research experiences has offered me guidance for my ongoing and future scientific works. It was very enriching for my academic roadmap to discuss with other master and Ph.D. students coming from a variety of disciplines and exchange views on each other’s work. Also, I feel that my knowledge in theoretical and methodological approaches to gender has been deepened.”
Comment from participant

To be continued

The gender toolkit is currently being prepared and will be released soon. The training module is planned to be repeated twice each year for new research fellows and grantees. Also, beginning in 2018, gender integration is planned to be one of the selection criteria for all the research proposals submitted for RWI’s scholarships, grants, and calls for research consultancies.