The purpose of IMECE

The purpose of IMECE


The aim/mission of IMECE

Established in the slum and recently migrated areas, IMECE aims to be an institution for the women who are obliged to work in the flexible piece-work, house cleaning-servanting and socially insecure industries of cheap labour as textile industry, to gather, to eliminate their disadvantages and form a new form of women's solidarity for empowerment. She also aims to work for the needs of these women and their daughters in the areas of education, health and law, absolutely with the volunteer work of women professionals.


The beneficiaries/target groups of IMECE

Bottom class women of the poorest parts of the society with the highest disadvantages in education, health and legal facilities. These are also the women who have recently migrated to the big cities because of the negative effects of neo-liberal impoverishing polities. They work in the flexible, cheap labour piece-work or service sector. They have poor basic living standards.


The role people who benefit from IMECE have in the decision making process of IMECE

Soon after the establishment, with the solidarity activities in health, education and law, the local women started to participate in decision making process of the institution on every topic. All the important decisions are taken at the regular th thurdsday meetings of IMECE. Apart from 18 constantly participating local women, a lot more local women participate in the decision making of the critical issues especially on education, health and employment. Decision-making meetings are open to all the local women and are well known in the region. There is no limitation for any women to participate, collaborate and take part in the decided schedule.



The Way IMECE's Work Contributes To The Advancement Of The Rights Of Women

The work done at IMECE, carries the notion of rights of women to the most disadvantaged groups of women (including ethnic minorities and excluded groups like Gypsies) who are far distant from reaching the facilities and legal rights the feminist movement struggled for and gained. IMECE does not do this by "telling" but she does it by actually "practicing for-and-with those women" for the solution of the problem. By doing this, IMECE contributes to the advancement of women not as receivers of the rights and facilities but actual creators of the process as active actresses. Adult education, health and law solidarity practices are all designed outside of patriarchal forms; so there is no "knower" vs. "seeker" position. Everyone involved (including the volunteers and professional volunteers) has to internalize the notion of women solidarity without "hierarchical power" but " collective empowerment". By creating solutions and empowerment through their "own" problems, the local women aim to have power on the local governing with the identity of women in the long run.


When was IMECE established?

IMECE was established in 2001 with the name of KADMER (Women Researches and Solidarity Centre) informally in the very poor neighbourhood of Esenyurt/ Istanbul. Enlarging her solidarity activities and the participation of local women, she was decided to be turned into a Women's Solidarity Cooperative and women's Solidarity Association to perform the actual work she has been performing in a more defined way.


A brief history of IMECE

So in 2003 she took the name "IMECE" which is a word used for traditional cooperation of peasants which includes doing everybody's work all together collectively. With the help of the 2 years of practice, more than 2000 people attended the opening street ceremony.



Is IMECE a women's organization?

Yes, IMECE is founded by women, for women and collectively administered by women. As a principal, no man is included by any means.


The role women play in decision making within the organization

Actually no one else other than women play a role in decision making. All the volunteers, professional volunteers (by this we mean volunteers who have a profession helpful for the needs of local women, like doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers…etc.), establishers and local women take part in decision making process equally. None of these mentioned groups have any privileges. Every action within the organization is done through collective decision making.


IMECE's organizational structure

According to the type of activity to be done, volunteering teams are formed. Teams are flexible and they are autonomous. Unless they counteract the general principles the whole IMECE community had decided upon, they make their own decisions and report it back to the larger everyone-included Thurdsday decision-making meetings. These teams may include volunteers, professional volunteers, establishers or local women. No one of them has a bit more authority than the others in practice.




IMECE's present and past activities/programmes and successes

- Has been organizing monthly health solidarity programmes with the participation of volunteering physicians and health-care staff. At least 200 local women participate regularly

- Has been organizing regular education solidarities and has prepared high-school student girls for the university entrance exams, secondary-school girls for the high-school exams,

- Has educated  girls on theatre and helped them perform their play at various places on 8th Marches.


·                     Education of girls by voluntary professionals and University students.

Since the year 2001 Voluntary instructors have been giving lessons to the girls which are high school students in Esenyurt. Course and class equipments were donated from the schools in the region and collected from the volunteers in solidarity. Every semester 20-30 girls attend these lessons.

Voluntary Professionals teach math, english, chemistry, literature, volleyball etc. Preparing for university entrance exams and high school exams were the aim of courses held every year.

After these studies,  the grades of students   are  increased and  they socialized. girls attended to the theatre course as well. In every activity of İMECE the girls perform a play, their creativity increases. Their families are very happy with these. Indeed many of their mothers are member of decision making meetings.


- Has monitored mothers getting organized against corruption in the neighbourhood.

- Carries out a project on piece-work; organizing, gathering piece-work making women under the shelter of the cooperative, giving them adult education on more than 12 different topics from health-care to basic civic education

- Carries out a project on house-cleaners (and an accompanying education including job training and other general civic education and city orientation)

- Carries out a project in job training on textile machinery operating (and an accompanying education including job training and other general civic education and city orientation) in cooperation with Women Research Association.


·                     According to the protocol made between Istanbul University Women Research Association and İMECE,  a job training course on textile  was initiated. Not only training on job is given to the women, there are also seminars about general civic education and cityorientation once a week which are instructed by the professional volunteers.  A decision

            making process was established with the involvement of women who benefits from  Job Training Course.