Celebrating Women’s Day with a smile in one eye and a teardrop in the other!

8 March 2015

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

Today is 8 March, International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in Turkey since 1921. However, when we think about what is really going on, the reality is: “A smile in one eye and a teardrop in the other!” I am writing a message of celebration right now but what I think about are the painful incidents that happen to the women every day in our country… It is impossible for me to write this message without mentioning them.

On one hand, we say that the Turkish women should participate in every field of life and that is how the Turkish economy will grow and progress. However, on the other hand, we build barriers against the women. As a society, we don’t protect them and we don’t treat them equally; on the contrary, we hurt women and hinder them at many occasions. The devastating murder of Özgecan Aslan and incidents of violence against women one after another prove the difficulties of being a woman. Such incidents reveal that our country has a long way to go.

Despite these difficulties and inequalities, our women fearlessly study, have careers, advance in the business life by manifesting their identities with a great determination.

So, what is our responsibility here? In order to take the “woman identity” to its rightful place, it our responsibility to continue initiatives to achieve equality of woman-man and to support gender equality even more strongly. I believe that we should celebrate this day by taking the responsibility.

Taking the opportunity, I celebrate the International Women’s Day of all women, in the hope of a future where women live freely and equally.

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