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All Women are Welcome!

Updated: Jan 31

Every Monday morning, the KEP team gathers around the table for the weekly meeting. But today we started with a little brainstorming. One of the 4 values at KEP is inclusivity, but what does this word mean? In this article we are going to take a closer look into this last value and how it is put into practice at KEP.

Revealing the Nature of Inclusivity

Togetherness, solidarity, wholeness, respect, equality are some of the many words the team wrote in the 3 minutes we gave them to think about inclusivity. According to the online dictionary, inclusivity is "the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised, such as those belonging to minority groups". For KEP, as a feminist NGO and because one of its targets is women refugees, a marginalised group, fighting discrimination is high on the list.

Everyone's Voice Matters

But how does KEP ensure that every woman feels included? Well, first of all, at KEP everyone has a voice and is listened to. And to make sure that happens, there are two full-time translators in the KEP office. One of them is Nur, who started her adventure with KEP in 2021 by participating in one of the textile programmes. Upon reaching Izmir, Nur was introduced to KEP's textile program by a friend who had already benefited from it. Facing a fresh start and eager to explore new opportunities, Nur, armed with determination and a drive for success, embraced the chance to join the program. With a world of possibilities ahead and a strong spirit, she navigated her path with purpose and resilience. Nur decided to come and meet the KEP team. Nur is welcomed with such enthusiasm and generosity that she sees and appreciates the atmosphere immediately, which makes her want to join the programme without any doubt. ‘’At KEP there is no judgement, no questions, we learn, we help each other and we are all in a good mood''.

A few months earlier, Nur wouldn't have thought she'd be doing a job she loves. Today, Nur dedicates her time as a full-time facilitator at women's empowerment workshop programs. Showing her exceptional language skills, she plays a crucial role in facilitating communication between Turkish and Syrian women during these sessions. Her contribution is paramount, as she actively promotes social cohesion, recognizing its significance in fostering stronger communities. As one of the KEP staff wrote in the brainstorming, ''inclusivity is also about making sure that all the participant's needs are met.'

Empowering Through Inclusivity

Finally, at KEP, respect is a core value that goes hand in hand with inclusivity. Respect for freedom of speech, for listening to each other, for hearing different opinions and ways of seeing the world, and for getting involved in projects. Everyone is welcome at KEP, whatever their skills, priorities, financial means, projects or ambitions. This respect allows the KEP team to have a horizontal structure rather than a vertical one, as it is often the case in the textile industry and NGOs. Here, all ideas are good and the women work together to make them concrete: the important thing is to be able to discuss everything. Indeed, during the textile programme that Nur followed, she learned not only how to design and make clothes, but also how to communicate well, empower herself, gain confidence and be aware of her strengths. She also learnt the importance of empowering others, as she had been empowered by participating in KEP programmes: another way of being inclusive and equal.

In conclusion, inclusivity means many different things, and at KEP we are ready to keep working on how to be even more inclusive at all times. İf you want to read more about KEP values go read our article about RESPECT

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