Cyprus Project

About the project

The Cyprus project aimed to provide a voice for mothers from across Cyprus to share their experiences on motherhood and their transition to it, as well as highlight the needs of mothers in regard to policy reform and awareness raising.

This action is supported under the Grow Civic Programme funded by the European Union in 2020.

shirin jetha dagseven

“Too often, women’s voices and opinions are not part of decision-making on national and global levels and therefore policies regarding gender equality are not actually being designed with the input of the actual target group. Thus, leading to failures to protect, uphold and leverage women.”

Shirin Jetha Dagseven

Conversations with mothers in Cyprus

Mothers were invited to submit their stories and take part in interviews to explore societal pressures and their effect, as well as relevant policy, including maternity and paternity leave, access to information, healthcare, childcare and employment.  

A focus group was also held to discuss issues faced by mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, outlining areas that need to be addressed, both as a response to this specific emergency and in terms of long-term change. 

In addition, a questionnaire was distributed to allow for the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Here are some of the things that mothers had to say:

mum and son playing by sea
mum and son playing by sea
infographics motherhoodtruths.com
mum and son playing by sea
mum and son playing by sea
infographics motherhoodtruths.com

Our Findings

As a result of the feedback received from women, a set of recommendations was developed in the form of a report, highlighting the main needs of women and the changes in legal texts, policy and society that women asked for. The report was shared with the local media and distributed to non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and duty bearers.

Download the recommendation report in English or Turkish

Interviews

Katerina Antoniou Motherhood truths

Katerina Antoniou

“Every time that I would do something that was part of my life before being a mother, it was such a victory for me until I managed to be who I wanted to be while having the baby. I ‘ve reached that stage where, having the baby is not the end of the world – not the end of my world as an individual. It was a relief to realize that you can have a normal life, make choices, and be who you want to be in time. “

“It is very hard to be a mother of a disabled child. You have to be strong; you have to make sacrifices, you always have to be by their side. I tried my best. I remember not sleeping for four to five days, just so that she wouldn’t have a fit. I didn’t have anyone else around me from my family, I fought on my own.”

meryem-photo

Meryem Gezici

Katerina Antoniou

Ioanna Steliou

“I had given birth in a private clinic and I couldn’t see my baby for three days. Then, my husband and I left the hospital without our baby. This is just a part of what almost every parent goes through after giving birth to a premature baby. And I know how difficult this is. What I want every parent to know is that hard times will pass, and their baby will come out of it stronger. And I wish them all to have faith, courage and be patient until their baby leaves the NICU.”

“How I am going to work if the schools are closed? It’s causing women to lose their jobs because women are taking on these responsibilities. But, policy makers don’t see it, they don’t prioritise it, they are gender biased….they are not running the system properly.”

Meryem Gezici Motherhood truths CYprus Porject

Sureyya Celmen Deger

Motherhood Stories from Cyprus

Father and baby

Father and baby

After my son was born, my husband was only able to take 3 days off work.

Covid Surprise

Covid Surprise

“I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks. My period was late and I was feeling sick..

I am not alone

I am not alone

I got married in February 2020, right before Covid-19, thank God.

Motherhood is a dilemma

Motherhood is a dilemma

I have two sons. When the first one was born, I understood that from now on life would never be the same

Read more Motherhood Stories