Garanti Bank has taken the opportunity before the United Nations to present its ongoing efforts in the global engagement against gender-based violence. Garanti’s campaign against this societal anathema is coordinated by the Turkish bank’s Talent & Culture Department, with the bank’s “Good Practice” report presented on March 19 of this year before the 62nd Session of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (62nd CSW) within the scope of the Business against Domestic Violence (BADV) project.
The project was executed by Sabancı University Corporate Management Fund, with the help of the leading Turkish business organization TÜSİAD, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Sabancı Foundation. During the 'Private Sector: Agents of Change on Gender Equality' gathering, Garanti announced that as of the end of last year, some 18,000 members of the bank’s community in all 81 of Turkey’s provinces received gender-equality training within the framework of the project.
As part of the Domestic Violence Platform, Garanti has offered psychological and legal support for employees through a support hotline that began operating in August 2016. Currently, the bank has three main activities within this platform:Gender Equality Training Sessions, the Domestic Violence Hotline and the Domestic Violence Approach, all of which have been positively received and supported by the Garanti community, be they men or women.
The Domestic Violence Approach documents the mechanisms and policies developed by the bank for employees subject to domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Hotline is open to employees seeking support about domestic violence as well as members of the Garanti community concerned that one their colleagues may be subject to such violence.
In a briefing, Osman Tüzün, Garanti Bank’s Executive Vice President said: “Studies reveal that 75% of white-collar women employees in Turkey suffer at least one form of violence, whole four out of every 10 women, have been subject to at least one form of violence, be it physical, sexual, psychological, economic or stalking. Of these, some 40% of working women suffer psychological-emotional violence, 35% suffer social violence, 17% economic violence and 8% physical violence. Garanti is the first bank in Turkey to become a signatory to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
“As an institution that has unstintingly embraced gender equality, Garanti regards domestic violence not as a family affair but as a human rights issue. Garanti has been in the corporate vanguard in its support for the Business World against Domestic Violence Project through the activities promoted by its Talent & Culture Department. The empowerment of women is important for us; we are involved in many gender equality platforms and will persevere with our efforts in this area.”
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation attends the 62nd CSW
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation, created by the BBVA Group within its Corporate Social Responsibility framework in 2007, also attended the 62nd CSW and participated in several panels during the official meetings and side events, such as 'WEPs in Action', organized by UN Women and the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED). Currently, the Foundation serves almost 2 million vulnerable entrepreneurs, of which 60% are women. BBVAMF’s work has proven that financial inclusion contributes to women empowerment through economic independence.