Gamze Karadağ

Vice Chairwoman,
Mavi Kalem

Gamze has been a powerful advocate for the rights of women and girls in Turkey since 2005. As Mavi Kalem’s Vice Chairwoman, Gamze provides assistance to women and children in crises. She leads the organization’s advocacy and community efforts to make it easier for Syrian refugee girls to enroll and remain in Turkish public schools.

Rooted in the idea that volunteerism is a way of life, Mavi Kalem has spent nearly two decades mobilizing volunteers to improve the lives of impoverished women and children living in the multi-ethnic Fatih district. From health education, to psychosocial support services, to summer art clubs, each project has been implemented collaboratively with volunteers and members of the community.

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, Mavi Kalem, under Gamze’s leadership, initiated educational and social support programs for Syrian women and children. Gamze has developed training modules for adolescent girls focused on reproductive health, gender mainstreaming, mental and physical wellness, and prevention of gender based violence. Gamze was named a “Gulmakai Champion” by Malala Fund in recognition of her work with refugee girls.

Gamze, 37, has a young son and lives in Istanbul with their one cat.