Factors that contribute to success
- Advocates should also examine the factors which contribute to success. According to the Manual for Facilitators of Advocacy Training Sessions, published by the Washington Office on Latin America, success may be affected by external and internal factors. External factors affect non-governmental organizations and individuals chances of success in advocating for changes in public policy and laws affecting women and girls. Such factors include:
- Openness to democracy and respect for human rights;
- Social, economic and cultural equity;
- Decentralized government institutions and decision-making;
- Independent, decentralized and accessible media; and
- An open and transparent government.
- Internal factors affect the non-governmental organizations attempting to make changes in public policy and laws affecting women and girls, either enhancing or hindering the chance of success. Internal factors include:
- Democratic structures and processes inside the organization;
- Ability to interact constructively with the government;
- Willingness and commitment to coalition building with other groups;
- Synchronization of short-, medium-, and long-term efforts toward an ultimate goal;
- Mission-based advocacy initiatives;
- Knowledge of the functioning of judicial, legislative, and executive branches;
- In-depth understanding of the political context;
- Access to research and information and the capacity to utilize it to inform policy-making;
- Education and capacity-building of leaders;
- Clearly defined and agreed upon roles and responsibilities of individuals and organizations involved; and
- Human and financial resources to accomplish the advocacy goal.
See: Manual for Facilitators of Advocacy Training Sessions, Washington Office on Latin America, 15-17, 2001.
CASE STUDY: In Turkey, the women’s movement led the campaign for Law 4320: On the Protection of the Family over a period of 20 years to finally pass the law. Organizations such as Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR), the Purple Roof Women’s Shelter Foundation, and the Altindas Women’s Solidarity Foundation and others led and coordinated the efforts. While the law continues to face challenges in its implementation (See Opuz v. Turkey Case Study on page 14 above), the passage of the law represented a significant step forward at the time of its passage in January 1998. A number of factors contributed to the success of the women’s movement including:
- Exposure to the international human rights community,
- Participation in UN conferences addressing violence against women in Beijing and Vienna,
- The possibility and preparatory steps for European Union membership,
- Involvement of governmental and non-governmental representatives,
- Networking with other organizations in the women’s movement, and
- Acquiring advocacy and lobbying skills.
According to Dr. Hande Eslen-Ziya, the European Union (EU) and European Women’s Lobby (EWL) membership processes have significantly impacted women’s organizations in Turkey. Both the EU and EWL promote dialogue with civil society and compliance with gender equality standards promulgated by the EU. Dr. Eslen-Ziya also attributes the international human rights standards of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other United Nations conventions as helpful to the lobbying processes of women’s human rights advocates. (See: Dr. Hande Eslen-Ziya, The European Union’s Influence on Women’s Activist Groups’ Networking: A Comparison Between Turkey and Greece, Vol. 6, No. 5, Turkish Policy Quarterly, 2007; Barbara L. Rodriguez, Justice through Domestic Violence Legislation: Improving the Implementation of Turkey’s Law 4320 on the Protection of the Family, Journal of Public and International Affairs (2009) available at http://www.princeton.edu/jpia/past-issues-1/2009/2.pdf; Response from Leyla Pervizat, Independent Researcher in Turkey, February 2010)