Turkey will host for the first time a conference of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) with the title “Women's role in achieving a sustainable future: Education, urbanization, violence and human rights.”
The 31st triennial conference of the IFUW, which was founded in 1919, will be held on Aug. 16-21 in İstanbul at Kadir Has University.
“So far we only have about 200 individuals from 42 countries who have registered for the conference. This is not up to our expectations. We expect at least 600 participants, but people have been worried about their safety in Turkey,” said Nazan Moroğlu, president of the Turkish Association of University Women (TÜKD), which was founded in 1949 and became a member of the IFUW in 1955.
Moroğlu referred to the deadly bombings along Turkey's southern border in Syria and how they were reflected in the international media has caused fears about safety in the country.
“I hope peace will prevail and we will not have to explain to people that İstanbul is a safe and very enjoyable place to be,” Moroğlu said on Wednesday at a press conference. She also stated that the early registration deadline has been extended to May 31.
The keynote speaker for the opening session of the conference will be Şafak Pavey, who is known for her international work in the field of human rights, humanitarian aid and peace-building.
Talking about the theme of the conference, Moroğlu noted that poverty and a lack of education have a direct relationship with the large number of children a woman has, according to the database from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) and invited educated women to have more children.
She also stated that violence against women remains a problem in the world and the TÜKD is carrying out studies and projects with the aim of reducing this.
“Studies show that one out of every three women is a victim of violence. Violence against women has been increasing. Forty-two percent of women have been internalizing violence. Violence has been learned in the family, and even though there are laws, they are not truly implemented,” she said.
Among the TÜKD's long-term projects in regards to reducing violence is to work with the Turkish Ministry of National Education and early childhood groups in order to raise awareness about gender equality and human rights.
In the short term, the TÜKD works with bar associations to provide support to victims of violence.
Now in their third year of the project to combat against violence against women, the TÜKD has reached more than 11,500 people in Turkey with about 150 activities.
Another goal of the TÜKD is to eliminate the problem of child marriages, and for that the association sent a letter to the members of the Turkish Parliament to attract their attention to the issue.
Moroğlu pointed out that TurkStat statistics say the number of child brides exceeded 181,000 as of November 2012. They demand action from lawmakers not to allow parents to obtain consent from judges before their daughters reach the age of 18.
In Turkey, only 2 percent of women have access to a university education, far below the European Union standards, and two out of 10 women are illiterate.
CihanLast Mod: 16 Mayıs 2013, 10:28