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Minerva-Award SHElifetimachievment: DILEK SABANCI

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Dilek Sabanci ist CEO und Gründerin von Vista Tourism and Travel.

Sie ist Board Member der Sabanci Foundation. Ihre Zeit steckt sie jedoch nicht nur in ihre Arbeit im Unternehmen, sondern auch in zahlreiche Projekte und Initiativen, die Diversität in der türkischen Gesellschaft fördern. Ihr besonderes Augenmerk liegt dabei auf der Förderung von Kindern und jungen Erwachsenen mit körperlichen Handicaps. So ist sie unter anderem zweite Präsidnetin der Turkish Spastic Children’s Foundation (TSCV) und Honorary President of Turkish Special Athletes Association (TÖSSED) (Special Olympics Turkey), hat aber auch eine große Zahl an eigenen Initiativen und Projekten ins Leben gerufen. Als Vorsitzende der Sabanci Familienstiftung zur Förderung und zum Schutz der Menschenrechte von Frauen und Mädchen“ unterstützt sie in Kooperation mit der UNO regionale Initiativen, die Chancengleichheit zum Ziel haben. In einer zweiten Phase wurden lokale Entscheidungsträger in Hinblick auf „gender budgeting practices“ geschult und in 17 türkischen Städten ein Verhaltenskodex zur Förderung der Geschlechtergleichheit eingeführt. Die Sabanci Fundationn hat in den vergangenen 13 Jahren 164 Projekte unterstützt und damit 700.000 Menschen erreicht. Laut Statuten muss sich mindestens die Hälfte der unterstützten Projekte mit Diversität und Förderung der Geschlechtergleichheit beschäftigen. Zusätzlich gibt es das „The Purzle Certification Programm“, das der Benachteiligung von Mädchen im Bildungssystem entgegenwirken soll. Ein weiterer Fokus der Stiftung liegt auf Aufklärungsarbeit, um Kinderhochzeiten zu verhindern. Im Zuge der Covid-19-Krise hat die Sabanci Foundation eine digitale Konferenz mit 19 Frauennetzwerken organisiert, um die Auswirkungen der Pandemie auf die Arbeits- und Lebenssituation der Frauen zu untersuchen.

 

Dr.h.c. Dilek Sabancı is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Vista Tourism and Travel which she established in 1989Vista Tourism and Travel is Turkey’s largest travel and tourism company, which is also called destination management company in tourism. She runs this company with a very qualified CEO and around 100 qualified and dedicated staffOn the other handMs.Dilek Sabancı is the member of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı Foundation.

Ms. Sabancı has contributed to variety of social responsibility and philanthropy initiatives in Turkey;where she dedicates most of her time and efforts to issues relating to persons with disabilities, youth and women. She gives very high importance to children andyoung people with disabilities as she is the Vice-President of the Spastic Children’s Foundation of Turkey and Metin Sabancı Center; which carries her brothers name MetinThe Spastic Children’s Foundation of Turkey (TSÇV) carries out its activities in Metin Sabancı Center

Another activity that she takes care of is Special Olympics Turkey (TÖSSED), where she took the role of Honorary President. Special Olympics Turkeys mission is to provide sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic–type sports for children and adults with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and participate in the community.

As the member of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı Foundation, which works with the philosophy of “sharing what we have obtained from this land with its people, Ms. Dilek Sabancı undertook the mission of his father Sakıp Sabancı in the areas of social responsibility and philanthropy. Sabancı Foundation carries out various important initiatives in the areas of education, arts-cultureand social change. Besides her work for persons with disabilities, Ms. Dilek Sabancı supports initiatives for gender equality in Turkey through various programsBelieving that social development could not be realized without women enjoying their rights equally in education, employment and political participationMs. Sabancı supports gender equality in Turkey through two channelsjoint programs and grant programs.

Sabancı Foundation conducted “Joint Program to Promote and Protect Human Rights of Women and Girls” which lasted for 10 years in partnership with UN agencies and the Turkish Government to support initiatives at the local level and promote gender equality in local policies and service delivery. In the second phase of the program, local decision makers were trained on gender budgeting practicesJoint program, which was implemented in 17 cities in Turkey, was a steppingstone for gender equality in Turkey as all the stakeholders worked in cooperation for creating new policies and mechanisms for gender equality. 

Believing that the best solutions to social problems come from civil society organizations, Sabancı Foundation became the first foundation to launch a grant program for civil society organizations in Turkey. Sabancı Foundation conducts grant programs for 13 years, supporting NGOs working in the area of youth, gender and disability. Until today, the Foundation supported 164 projectsreachingmore than 700 thousand people. Around half of the grant support was channeled to projects on gender equalityinvolving issues ranging from education, economic empowerment, right-awareness, fighting with child marriagespolitical participation to the rights of women with disabilities. 

The Purple Certificate Program, is the long-lasting support of the Foundation, aims tmainstream gender equality awareness within the education system. It is conducted bSabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Center of ExcellenceThe Purple Certificate Program aims to contribute to the elimination of gender-based discrimination within the education system through high school teachers and faculty of education students. In this context, the Program works with teachers and prospective teachers in different cities of Turkey with the purpose of increasing gender awareness and equality in schools, classroom settings, classroom practices and teaching materials.

Another focus area of Sabancı Foundation is fighting against early and forced marriages. Sabancı Foundation has been supporting civil society organizations to end child marriages in a holistic manner, namely in local, national and international levels. While supporting NGOs working at national and local levels since 2010Sabancı Foundation also carries out international efforts in collaboration with Girls Not Brides platform to end child marriages. Recently, SabancıFoundation supported United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA)  Turkey for raising awareness about the adverse health consequences of early and forced marriages

Unfortunately, Covid-19 outbreak deepens the current social problems and intensifies inequalities. Women and girls experiencing the effects of the pandemic more intensely. The increase in the ratios of domestic violenceare and drop-outs of girls from schools are alarming, which is directly linked to early and forces marriages.Sabancı Foundation, has always adopted the principle of listening to the needs of civil society, while conducting itswork. Thus, recently the Foundation organized an online meeting with 30 women’s organizations in Turkey, in order to discuss the effects of the pandemic from a gender lens, and come up with solutions and ways of collaborating.

As seen, Ms. Dilek Sabancı has non-negligible role in non-profit activities in Turkey. Besides her relentless efforts for social change, Dr.h.c. Dilek Sabancı offered to the service of society two prominent institutions that areher name. Dilek Sabancı Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School has a 1,750 student capacityand located in the Asian side of Istanbul. And, Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery, located in Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museumstrives to constitute a modern and contemporary art platform with temporary exhibitions in the city of Mardin, Turkey. 

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