World Bulletin/News Desk
International Women Entrepreneurs Forum (IWEF) has been launched in Istanbul, aiming to provide a meeting place for women entrepreneurs, executives, politicians and NGOs to exchange experience and ideas.
Organized by networking group Women Entrepreneurs Network, the forum has about 1,000 participants from 81 countries. Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Sahin and Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan attended the first day sessions at the conference, planned to continue till May 4.
Delivering a keynote speech, Sahin said the forum was significant for helping to meet the need for fostering national, regional and global cooperation in order to advance women entrepreneurship.
"We cherish the support for entrepreneurs in Turkey," Sahin said. "In the new world order, we wish to employ women's genetic inheritance as a big drive for development in new areas where emotional intelligence, discipline and team spirit come to the forefront."
Women as "barometer of society"
Among many factors for building the necessary infrastructure for women entrepreneurship, education and health stand out as the two most prominent, Sahin said.
Sahin praised the developments that happened in the last decade regarding women's status in Turkey, saying education for girls had come to a point where girls constitute 40% of university students, up from 19%, with 70% of the graduates able to find employment. A similar change for the better took place in women health as Turkey managed to reach European standards in maternal and infant mortality, Sahin added.
To ensure better participation of women in the economy and workforce, practices of positive discrimination were adopted, Sahin said.
"Women are the barometer of a society. If they feel confident about the days to come, if they are able to presume a brighter future for their children, this leads to a butterfly effect and impacts the whole society," Sahin said.Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2013, 18:06