International Women’s Day
In Turkey, inspiring women manifest their stories of empowerment
10 women and 1 man who have experienced significant gender equality challenges and achievements manifested their stories in 20 seconds at a PechaKucha event organized by UN Women in Istanbul.
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Each a role model and an expert in different fields, such as actress, director and screenwriter Gupse Özay, Turkey’s first woman truck driver Leyla Ağaçkoparan, and entrepreneur Ilgın Yazgan who designs clothes for breastfeeding moms, the speakers recounted their stories and shared how they contribute to women’s and girl’s empowerment.
Opened by Vice Chairperson of Women and Family Department of Beşiktaş Municipality Zeynep Karaman and UN Women Country Director Asya Varbanova, the event continued with the opening of “Equality through Generations in Turkey” interactive wall exhibition, which displays milestones in gender equality and women’s rights in Turkey’s history. The exhibition is created by UN Women with the support of Beşiktaş Municipality.
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Displaying achievements in women’s rights in a chronological order beginning from the Ottoman Empire, the interactive wall exhibition invited the visitors to complete the exhibition with their own gender equality journey. Visitors hung objects, inserted memories, photographs or attached a memory to the wall and completed Turkey’s gender equality journey through their stories.
UN Women invites all generations to join forces and act together for an equal future in 2020 under the Generation Equality campaign, a turning point in the empowerment of women and girls and achieving gender equality. 2020 is the 25th anniversary of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls across the globe. Throughout 2020, UN Women will organize events on a global scale, brining men and women from different generations, geographies, cultures to join forces for achieving gender equality.
“Change is urgently needed for Generation Equality”
In her opening speech, UN Women Country Director Asya Varbanova stressed that despite the achievements in gender equality over the past 25 years, no country can say that they have achieved gender equality completely. “Change is urgently needed for Generation Equality. It is only possible if everyone joins forces and acts with determination and courage. We can build an equal future for women and girls and for all of us,” said Varbanova.
“The purple wave enfolding the world today is a sign of both the gravity of gender inequalities and that of the ever-growing solidarity among women. In different countries of the world, women are struggling for equal pay for equal work, equal rights and opportunities, and ending harassment and violence, male domination over the female body,” said Vice Chairperson of Women and Family Department of Beşiktaş Municipality Zeynep Karaman.
The speakers have a message!
10 role models have messages for everyone.
"I salute all women who choose to make peace instead of fighting each other!"
"We must achieve gender equality!”
"Women and girls have the right to be empowered!"
“The needle won’t thread and the scissor won’t shear when it comes to early marriages.”
"Men should transform themselves on the road to achieving gender equality."
"Everything starts with a strong and happy mother. Because only the happy children she raises can change the world."
"Every woman has a right to equal opportunities in sports and physical activities for high-level performance and to stay healthy."
“I believe the world will be a better place if moms teach their children to be strong. We should focus, fly to the future and light the dark like fireflies.”
"They tried to put obstacles before me. I entered the exam 15 times and I finally got my license. Do not lose heart, we will achieve equality."
"Women can come together in solidarity to empower each other.”