Fark Yaratanlar
Social Justice

Hülya Aydın

Life of A Determined Woman

Sabancı Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program continues in its 5th season to share the unique stories of extraordinary people who contribute to social development. The thirteenth Changemaker of the 5th season is Hülya Aydın who implemented the “Raising Awareness on Preventing the Abuse of Girls” project.

Living in Mardin, a southeastern province of Turkey, Hülya Aydın worked in the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture for 2 years after graduating from the vocational school of management, yet she had to quit her job after getting married, upon the demand of her husband.

Hülya Aydın who was exposed to domestic violence during her marriage lost her husband after 7 years and started living with her 3,5-year old daughter. At that time, widow women in Mardin had to live with their families. However, Hülya Aydın defied this tradition and started living with her daughter. Regaining the strength to carry on, she returned to her career as a teacher. But she never forgot what she had been through and she became the Mardin Officer of KAMER (Women Center Foundation) to reach other women who were exposed to different kinds of violence.

After her father passed away, she made an effort to get her share of the inheritance, eventhough women’s inheritance rights were not secured in Mardin. This way, she became one of the first women who secured her inheritance rights and started farming on the land left by her father. Later, she began to visit villages to tell women about their rights to inheritance. In order to institutionalize and expand her work, Hülya Aydın founded the Mardin Women Cooperation Association with her friends.

Among the many projects at the Mardin Women Cooperation Association, Hülya Aydın and her colleagues are implementing “Raising Awareness on Preventing the Abuse of Girls” project now.

Within the project, supported by Sabancı Foundation Social Development Grant Program, trainings on gender, reproductive health, and communication are delivered to 400 students 3 days a week by psychologists, social service experts, and teachers in two schools in Kızıltepe district of Mardin. Meetings on gender and communication with teenagers are also held with families and teachers in the project.

As part of the project, youth desks were established at schools to let young people express themselves in a better and more comfortable way. Poems, writings, and photos collected at these desks were also printed as a newspaper.

Season 5 - Epsiode 4

Date: 21.4.2014

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