UN Women: How would you like the future be after 2015?

Thursday, November 22, 2012
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) brought women’s organizations from different cities of Turkey together on 21 November, in order to revive women’s issues for the UN’s post-2015 development process.
UN Women works for representation of the women especially on economy, employment and gender equality. 40 participants, who are fighting for gender equality, were brought together as a part of working approach aiming for application of the international norms and adopting a joint work with NGOs. The question of “How would you like the future be after 2015?” was brought on the table as the main agenda of the meeting.
Nevin Öztop, the representative of Kaos GL, commented on lesbians and bisexual woman’s unnamed lives and the violence they have been experiencing. Öztop stated: “I believe naming “obligatory heterosexuality” is important both regarding this meeting and inserting it in UN’s working discourse.” Öztop also emphasized that annual LGBT reports as well as the reportings of women’s movement remain incomplete on making issues of lesbian women visible, diversity of women’s lives and that reference to sexual orientation or gender identity are rarely or not at all taken into consideration.
Belgin Çelik, the representative of Pembe Hayat, made contributions on the abuse of rights of the transgender people, in particular trans sex workers, and on the hostile working environment experienced by them.
Feminist İlknur Üstün emphasized the unprotected environment the women’s rights advocates fight in and added “The women’s rights advocates need a safe environment, the only place they rely on is the women’s movement”.
Nazik Işık, a representative of the Women’s Labor in Domestic Field, remarked militarism’s effects on women’s lives: “I think in general what we need is democracy. Especially during war times, women’s rights are pushed aside in the order of priorities. In addition, we should also note that different aspects of womanhood exist. We should pay attention both to different issues and different aspects of womanhood”.
Gülşah Şeydaoğlu of Faculty of Medicine at Çukurova University drew attention to importance of linking different areas in her speech, stating: “If we miss the linkage between individual’s education and state of health, we have a long way to go… I think the fragmentary compound of organizations both result in loss of power and prevent us from seing the full picture.”
50 countries including Turkey host parallel discussions of planned meetings which would contribute to the post-2015 United Nations working agenda. Gender equality and related issues of poverty, health, education and disability are gathered under “Equality”, which is one of the 9 themes determined. Not having the status of representation, meetings of the UN Women is coordinated by UNICEF.
Translation by: Engin Bayram


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