International Women’s Day

The youth discusses women’s rights and gender equality on International Women’s Day in Turkey

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Annika Molin Hellgren, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Ankara addresses the university and high school students. Photo: Aykut Aytac – Tayfun Dalkılıc
Annika Molin Hellgren, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Ankara addresses the university and high school students. Photo: Aykut Aytac – Tayfun Dalkılıc

UN agencies in Turkey and the Embassy of Sweden in Ankara brought together university and high school students ahead of International Women’s Day to discuss the crucial role of youth as agents of change to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women's rights. “From Beijing to Date, From Today to the Future” intergenerational dialogue was organized at the Osmangazi University in Eskişehir, central Turkey, by the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Result Group of the UN, chaired by UN Women.

“The Society consists of 50 percent men and 50 percent women. Everybody has a role to play to achieve gender equality. 8 March, International Women’s Day, has to be celebrated with men. A women’s issue is also a men’s issue. Studies show that it will take 100 years to achieve gender equality. I think we can achieve it much faster,” said Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, the UN Resident Coordinator in her opening remarks.

Annika Molin Hellgren, the Ambassador of the Embassy of Sweden in Ankara, said that gender equality is one of the corner stones of the Swedish society. She added, “The aim of Sweden’s gender equality policies is to ensure that everyone enjoys the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all areas of life. Sweden’s experience over the past 50 years is an example of the close interlinkages between women’s participation in the labour market, improved gender equality and high sustainable growth and social development for everyone.”

More than 200 students, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), UN agencies and academics participated the event and explored ways to accelerate the achievement of gender equality in Turkey. The event created a space to connect activists with university students and developed new strategies to achieve gender equality by 2030. The meeting addressed certain topics of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action such as health, economy, media, violence against women, girl child and power and decision making, and aimed to develop innovative approaches through roundtable discussions.

With this event, UN Women kicked off the 25th year review process of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25). Students and the NGO representatives that took part in this event will be part of the Beijing+25 review in Turkey.

Instagram point for the occasion of International Women’s Day

Instagram point at Atakule, one the symbols of the capital Ankara, Turkey.  Photo: Bitter Medya/Umutcan Oren
Instagram point at Atakule, one the symbols of the capital Ankara, Turkey.  Photo: Bitter Medya/Umutcan Oren

UN Women office in Turkey has created a special space on the occasion of International Women’s Day at Atakule, one of the symbolic buildings of the capital, Ankara. In cooperation with Atakule, UN Women has decorated an Instagram point with 18 messages in Turkish and English languages, such as #BeBold, #BeStrong, #TakeAction and #ThinkEqual, showcasing strong messages and celebrating women’s activism on 8 March. The hashtag messages stress that women are the pioneers of change, in line with the global theme of International Women’s Day this year, “Think equal, build smart and innovate for change.”

The instagram point will be open to visitors until the end of March. Visitors may share their photos on Instagram with the #WomensDay hashtag.