HeForShe Turkey and GQ Magazine Turkey launch podcast series packed with inspirational talks and important discussions on gender equality

The podcast series is part of initiatives launched under UN Women’s Media Compact partnership with GQ Magazine Turkey and aims to raise awareness on gender equality, break down gender stereotypes, and address the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. With three episodes published so far, the podcast series will continue to discuss unspoken subjects in 2021.

Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Implemented by HeForShe Turkey, the podcast hosts well-known and influential men celebrities, opinion-leaders and experts from Turkey. Episodes are hosted by GQ Magazine Editor Barkın Özdemir and co-hosted by UN Women Turkey to bring diverse topics into the mainstream, such as involved fatherhood, gender equality and sports, and gender stereotypes. Actors, athletes, artists and opinion leaders from different fields discuss unspoken subjects and share their own gender equality journeys.

“During my wife’s pregnancy and postpartum period, I realized that fatherhood is really a mission.” – Salih Bademci, actor

From left to right: Salih Bademci, Sinem Aydın, Barkın Özdemir and İpek Naz Çınar
From left to right: Salih Bademci, Sinem Aydın, Barkın Özdemir and İpek Naz Çınar

In this episode, famous actor Salih Bademci talks about fatherhood and men’s role in achieving gender equality with co-hosts Barkın Özdemir from GQ and Tayfun Yılmaz from UN Women, who has recently become a father himself. Bademci answers difficult questions about stereotypes around parenting, shares his experiences as a father and offers advice to new fathers. UN Women co-host Tayfun Yılmaz stated that “Society assigns us roles long before we are born. If you are a man, a father, you need to be distant and cold towards your children; and if you are a woman, a mother, you must sacrifice everything for your children. In order to ensure gender equality, first of all, we have to be aware of these gender inequalities and, everyone, not only women, but all of us, especially boys and men ought to be involved in this process. That's the real purpose of this podcast collaboration.”

“It’s misguided to assert that different sports are for different sexes.” – Melih Mahmutoğlu, Fenerbahçe Basketball Team Captain

Fenerbahçe TV studios in Istanbul. From left to right: Barkın Özdemir, Sinem Aydın, Melih Mahmutoğlu and İpek Naz Çınar
Fenerbahçe TV studios in Istanbul. From left to right: Barkın Özdemir, Sinem Aydın, Melih Mahmutoğlu and İpek Naz Çınar

In this episode, Fenerbahçe Sports Club’s basketball team captain Melih Mahmutoğlu talks about the potential of sports to catalyse change and achieve gender equality with co-hosts Barkın Özdemir from GQ Magazine and Sinem Aydın from UN Women. HeForShe Turkey Coordinator Sinem Aydın says: “As in all areas of life, gender inequalities and discrimination exist in sports as well. Boys are ostracized by their families and friends when they have no interest in football. On the other hand, girls and women are judged by society when they have an interest in football. Sports clubs, sports media, athletes, everyone can do something to break these gender stereotypes”. Recognizing the power of sports to change lives, UN Women Turkey is collaborating with sports organizations to empower women and girls and tear down gender barriers and discrimination. HeForShe Turkey and Fenerbahçe Sports Club joined forces in 2018 to contribute to achieving gender equality in and through sports.

"Gendered use of language such as ‘girl alone’* sends a message to women and girls that it is not safe for them to be on the streets alone.” – Aras Kocaoğlan, Turkish Dictionary

Aras Kocaoğlan joined the episode via phone. From left to right: Aras Kocaoğlan, Sinem Aydın, Barkın Özdemir, İpek Naz Çınar
Aras Kocaoğlan joined the episode via phone. From left to right: Aras Kocaoğlan, Sinem Aydın, Barkın Özdemir, İpek Naz Çınar

Aras Kocaoğlan, the co-founder of the famous Instagram account Turkish Dictionary, is the guest of the third episode and talks about the importance of language in challenging stereotypes and creating a gender equal society with co-hosts Barkın Özdemir from GQ and Sinem Aydın from UN Women Turkey. Although Turkish is a gender-neutral language, there are many idioms, expressions and sayings that are gendered and that reinforce stereotypes. Kocaoğlan says that: "Widespread use of these gendered and sexist idioms and proverbs normalizes gender inequalities and affect how we think about the world. We can tackle these gender stereotypes and inequalities by starting to change our use of language.”

*Girl alone is an idiom used to describe situations, spaces in which it is dangerous for a woman or girl to be alone.