Youth activists and advocate Kerem Bürsin celebrate HeForShe’s 8th anniversary in Türkiye
The HeForShe movement celebrated eight years of advocacy for gender equality, globally and in Türkiye. To celebrate this anniversary, renowned Turkish actor and HeForShe Advocate Kerem Bürsin together with young activists came together to discuss how to advance gender equality and transform harmful masculinities.
Young activists from across Türkiye met with HeForShe Advocate and famous actor Kerem Bürsin at a workshop to celebrate the movement’s eight anniversary on 20 September in Istanbul. The gathering provided a space for young people to hold an honest discussion around gender inequalities, ways to identify these inequalities and how to transform society to achieve a gender-equal future.
At the event, Bürsin, who was announced as a HeForShe Advocate in December 2021, emphasized the importance of solidarity for gender equality and the important role men have therein: “I am very grateful to be coming together with young friends and working with them towards achieving gender equality. Listening to their challenges and their ideas to overcome these challenges makes me feel that change is possible, and together we can do it.”
According to a recent UN Women report, at the current pace, it will take about 300 years to achieve gender equality. In this regard, participants highlighted the important role men should play in accelerating progress.
“Participating in this workshop made me aware of the gender inequalities that still exist in our society and what kind of privileges I have just because I am a man,” said Şerif Esin, a young Computer Engineering student from Urfa – a border city with Syria. “I also understood the reasoning behind some behaviours that I didn’t realize before. There are certain expectations in society such as ‘men shouldn’t cry or dance’. What if I want to cry or what if dancing is the best way for me to express myself?”
Speaking at the event, HeForShe Türkiye Coordinator Sinem Aydın said: “traditional norms and values assigned to men and women since birth are some of the root causes of the inequalities we witness today. Men should realize the privileges they have only because they are men and stand in solidarity shoulder to shoulder with women to achieve gender equality.”
Following the discussion, young people co-created slogans and banners that were posted on social media, including the hashtag #IfNotMeWho. The banners will be turned into an online exhibition to be displayed and promoted as part of the ongoing campaign.
HeForShe Türkiye and Kerem Bürsin will continue working together with young people from across the country to facilitate discussions and to raise awareness around gender equality, harmful masculinities and the role men have in transforming society.