Inspiring Thursday: Prof. Dr. Feride Acar
Prof. Dr. Feride Ayşe Acar is a Turkish scholar and professor, who served as an international consultant for many institutions on women’s right and gender equality. Prof. Dr. Acar was elected as a member of the CEDAW Committee in 1997 and became president of the UN CEDAW Committee in 2003-2005, after serving as rapporteur and Vice President. Prof. Dr. Acar became the first President of GREVIO (Group of experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence), serving for three mandates, until 2019.
Born in Bursa, Turkey, Prof. Dr. Feride Acar completed the secondary education at TED Ankara College and Darien High School in the US. She completed her bachelor degree in Sociology at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, where she also became a faculty member as a scholar. Acar continued her postgraduate studies in the United States and received master’s (M.A.), Ph.D. degrees in Political Sociology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Her professional background started when she was appointed as a faculty member in METU Department of Political Science and Public Administration in 1976. Prof. Dr. Acar then became an associate professor in 1988 and a professor in 1994. Prof. Dr. Acar has been a visiting professor at Widener University in the USA and Yarmouk University in Jordan in the past and has taught at Bilkent University. Since the 1980s, Prof. Dr. Feride Acar has focused her studies on women’s rights and gender equality and led the establishment of METU Women’s Studies Department and Master’s Program in 1994. Between 1994 and 2003, Prof. Dr. Feride Acar served as the Founding President of METU Department of Women’s Studies and Master’s Program and contributed to the institutionalization of the field of women’s studies in universities in Turkey.
Being active in the international women’s human rights field, either as an independent expert or representing Turkey in global and regional events, Prof. Dr. Acar has taken part in the negotiations, drafting and/or monitoring the implementation of several fundamental international instruments on women’s rights and gender equality. In fact, Prof. Dr. Acar was part of the drafting for the CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action, the CEDAW Optional Protocol, as well as the Istanbul Convention. She has organized and carried out trainings on women’s rights and gender equality in many countries and participated as researcher and coordinator in several nationally and internationally sponsored cross-cultural research and implementation projects, given numerous lectures, and published works on international standards of women’s rights and gender equality, including on the links between CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention.
In addition to her research and international role, Prof. Dr. Acar continues her studies with educational, consultancy and representation activities in the field of women’s rights in Turkey and abroad. Additionally to issues such as women’s international human rights, women’s rights in academic life, women’s rights in Turkey, women in Islamist movements, Prof. Dr. Feride Acar has published works in the fields of political life, political institutions and parties, social change in Turkey, at home and abroad.
Written by WAVE Intern Diva Adelaide Edosini