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Directorate General of Civil Aviation- Development of Gender Balance Initiative

It is essential that the civil aviation sector is structured in accordance with international aviation safety and security standards, and aviation activities are conducted and supervised with respect to these rules. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the authority that determines and supervises the implementation of the rules in the civil aviation sector in Turkey. The DGCA communicated a directive on  “Instruction on Development of Gender Balance in Civil Aviation” on February 28, 2018, and subsequent events and activities are to be held in order to improve gender balance in civil aviation and to ensure equality of opportunity in the selection of aviation professions.  Of key importance is taking into consideration the efficient use of institutional and sectoral capacity and improving service quality in maintaining aviation activities in accordance with the principles set forth.

Within the scope of this directive, which sets out the principles and procedures relating to the work and activities required to improve gender balance in the Turkish civil aviation sector; the “Gender Balance Fostering Commission (GBFC)” has been established in order to oversee gender balance in the civil aviation sector and to develop recommendations to improve it, work towards the creation of equality of gender opportunity in the selection of aviation professions, and especially encourage women to participate in education and training in aviation-related areas. 

A Temporary Commission was established on March 01, 2018 in order to plan and implement the first activities and as part of the Women of Aviation Worldwide (WOAW) Week under the motto “Let Women Soar!”  A symposium with the theme “Development of Gender Balance in Civil Aviation” was organized in order to raise awareness on gender equality by increasing the number and status of women in aviation.

The Commission, aimed to be the first in the world in its field; attracted the attention of the “International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)”, a UN specialized agency established to ensure the steady development of international civil aviation and the implementation of civil aviation rules on a global level, and was invited to the “ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit”, organized for the first time in 2018, to share its experiences. At the Summit held on 08-10 August 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, within the scope of “Gender Equality” which ranks fifth among the ICAO’s Strategic Goals, closely linked to the 15th United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the efforts towards ensuring gender balance in Turkish civil aviation were voiced and this initiative, which was carried out under the responsibility of the civil aviation authority, received attention and appreciation on a global scale.

The first DGCA - GBFC started its activities on April 09, 2018. The Commission consists of a total of 8 permanent and 2 substitute members including 4 permanent and 1 substitute members representing the DGCA and 4 permanent and 1 substitute members representing the private sector. Excluding the Commission, which meets once every three months (Quarterly); there is also an Advisory Board selected from among the representatives of aviation authorities and the sector, determined by the decision of the GBFC to participate in these meetings, in order to contribute to the activities of the Commission and to ensure that the assessments and activities to be carried out are heard on a larger scale. Activities related to the development of gender equality in Turkish civil aviation are also carried out by sub-groups consisting of Commission and Advisory Board members, including representatives from DHMİ, Eskişehir Technical University, the Istanbul Bar Association, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, İGA, TAV Airports Holding, HAVAŞ, Çelebi, APS Aviation, and Kaan Aviation in addition to the DGCA. Currently, the said activities are carried out by a total of three sub-working groups, namely the Situation Assessment Sub-Working Group, the Communication Sub-Working Group, and the Road Map & Incentives Sub-Working Group.

In the Turkish civil aviation sector, the Commission by the provisions of DGCA - GBFC Instruction, organizes activities within the year in order to contribute to gender balance and conducts activities.  The theme for this year is to be determined at the “Women of Aviation Worldwide (WOAW) Week”, which is held the 8th day of March every year. A symposium with the theme of “Women in Air & Space” was held in Antalya on April 26, 2018, in addition to the first activities of the Commission, the Development of Gender Balance in Civil Aviation Symposium held in Ankara and also the First ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit. 

Apart from the mentioned activities, another Commission activity is that of awarding the “Registry of First Aviatrix” certificate. The Commission, in accordance with the purpose of DGCA Instruction, conducts a registry study in order to ensure national and international recognition of the first or leading women, who flew or contributed to the flight of an aircraft, significantly contributed to the development of aviation, pioneered and raised awareness in the subject. 

You can visit http://web.shgm.gov.tr/tr/s/5771-sivil-havacilik-genel-mudurlugu-toplumsal-cinsiyet-dengesi-gelistirme-komisyonu to get detailed information about the activities carried out by the Commission and to follow current developments. To contact the Commission, you can send an e-mail to shgm-tcdgk@shgm.gov.tr

ICAO and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://www.icao.int/about-icao/aviation-development/Pages/SDG.aspx)