The United Nations agencies in Turkey called for equality every where today at the International Women’s Day event in Ankara.
“Talk for Equality. Time is Now” event at the Cer Modern Art Gallery in Turkey’s capital Ankara was opened by speeches from Turkey’s Food Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, UN Turkey Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, FAO Coordinator for Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and Turkey Representative Viorel Gutu and Martin Deputy Ceyda Bölünmez Çankırı.
“In 1975 all governments agreed there is need for equality so they declared March 8th International Women’s Day. If there was no inequality there would be no need for such a day” said Resident Coordinator Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano opening the event.
Sollorano emphasized that women play a role for each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and continued “For this reason we need to work together to achieve these goals. This way we can reach days of women and men partnership.”
UN Resident Coordinator in line with this year’s International Women’s Day theme greeted the women farmers attending the event and said they are one of the back bones of Turkey. “Rural women have taken their lives in their hands. They started this road with their husbands, fathers and sons. The old saying of ‘every successful men has a woman behind him’ has proven to be the opposite” she stressed.
Also speaking at the opening FAO Turkey Representative Viorel Gutu emphasized the importance of starting equality at home. “If men and women share the work at home, women will have more time to work outside and earn money. Our studies show that if women can reach resources equally they can increase the production capacity with 30 per cent” he said.
“I believe from my heart that for humanity we need to be equal” said Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba in his opening remarks. “When women are given equal opportunities I have seen how much they can succeed” emphasized Fakıbaba.
Fakıbaba also said that women are especially successful in agriculture, animal husbandry and food production. If given more opportunities the cities, the country and the region will develop more.
Minister Fakıbaba emphasized that International Women’s Day can not be celebrated for one day, it had to be 365 days.
The event continued with the speeches of women who have been pioneers of change in their fields. Social entrepreneur and chef Ebru Baybara Demir, fashion designer Hatice Gökçe, Syrian Pediatrician working at Alemdağ Health Center Ahlam Özmen, MD, Health Mediator from Yenimahalle Women Health Center Hiba Ağa from Syria shared their inspiring success stories with the participants.
The event ended with the opening of the photography exhibition featuring women portraits from UN’s women empowerment work in the field.