Orange Summit in Izmir!

7 December 2017

December 7, 2017, İzmir – Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Business Administration organized awareness activities in the universities and high schools with the university and high school students within the frame of the 16-day activism campaign between November 25 - December 10 in order to end Violence Against Women. The Orange Summit, held on December 7, 2017, was a meeting where students from Dokuz Eylül, Yaşar, Ege, and Katip Çelebi Universities and Bahçeşehir High School participated. 

Representatives of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Office for the Resident Coordinatorship, United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), Center for Prevention and Monitoring of Violence (ŞÖNİM) and Dokuz Eylül University Directorate of Women's Rights and Issues Research and Application Center participated in the Orange Summit held in Izmir. 

The Orange Summit started with presentations of the guest speakers. Gülsen Birgül Özkan from the Center for Prevention and Monitoring of Violence (ŞÖNİM) explained ŞÖNİM and the services provided by ŞÖNİM in her speech. Özkan emphasized in her presentation that everyone who witness violence has a responsibility to reporting it to the authorities by calling 155 or 183. Özkan underlined that it is only possible to bring the violence against women to a close through the development of comprehensive policies.    

Director of Dokuz Eylül University Women's Rights and Problems Research and Application Center Assoc. Prof. Özlem Belkıs stated in her presentation that Dokuz Eylul University is the only university that has developed a mandatory course on Gender. Assoc. Prof. Belkıs said that only 15 universities among 183 universities have taken steps in the names of gender equality and to counter sexual violence issues in the campuses and have provided permanent solutions. She emphasized that making campuses safer areas is an important part of the gender equality application followed by the universities for the prevention of violence in campuses. At the end of her presentation, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Özlem Belkıs said "Being a real and qualified individual depends on how much understanding of equality that person has". 

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Gender Equality Program Coordinator Meltem Ağduk mentioned striking figures in her presentation. Ağduk stated "Every day throughout the world almost 50.000 girls are under the risk of getting married before the age of 18 or they are forced to marry. Almost 100 million girls will be the victims of child marriage in the next 10 years. Child marriages are a form of violation of human rights and considered as violence against women because the likelihood of girls experiencing physical, sexual, economic and psychological violence in child marriages is even greater." Emphasizing the end of child marriages and the education of girls, Ağduk continued her presentation: "Ensuring the empowerment of girls and investing in their health, especially in reproductive health, and their education will lead to a significant increase in their lifetime income. Thanks to this investment, healthy, educated and strong girls will postpone the marriage and childbearing to later ages. Thus, their future will be guaranteed, they will work in proper jobs, and their children in the future will be healthier and more educated." 

Selin Ünal, United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), Foreign Affairs and Communication Officer, said in her presentation that displacement has reached a record high in the world in the recent years. Stating that Turkey is hosting the highest number of refugees, Ünal said that any kind of violence is a great risk for this refugee population. Ünal underlined that 75% of the refugees in Turkey consist of women and girls, and explained why they are at risk of exposure to violence. Selin Ünal, at the end of her presentation said "The biggest problem about violence is to remain silent. Fighting against violence is everyone's responsibility, including refugees."

Before starting her presentation, United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinatorship Gender Expert Zeliha Ünaldı addressed the audiences and said, "I am very happy to see so many fellow companions in the fight against violence." Ünaldı emphasized that there are many layers of violence and it became more difficult to see the violence and the victims with this increased layers. In her presentation Ünaldı stated that one of the groups remaining under these layers was the disabled women and girls and the other was the gypsy women and girls. Saying that women and girls in these groups are exposed to much more violence in varying degrees depending on where they are, Ünaldı added that the rate of experiencing violence has a potential to reach "10 times" higgher. Stating that victims of violence often do not seek help, Ünaldı emphasized that the women in the aforesaid groups prefer to stay totally silent. At the end of her speech, Zeliha Ünaldı also made a call to those who came to listen to the panel: "The responsibility of us, the ones standing in the front lines, is to hear the voice of the women who are left behind and to have their voices heard."”

After the panel speeches, students shared the manifesto they prepared to prevent violence against women. Manifest announced by students in the event:

1. Education is the right for everyone

2. Do not discriminate, even it is positive

3. Leave how I dress alone

4. Flash flash flash... there is media, but no women

5. Circumcision is not a feast, menstruation is not an embarrassment

6. Do not force to marry

7. All colors of the rainbow are beautiful

8. Father also takes care of the child ...

9. Do not marginalize ...

10. Hold your tongue

11. Both the nights and the street are ours ...

12. Labor does not have a gender

13. I appear with my mind, not with my body

14. Laundry and doing the dishes also fit men

15. Every woman can marry, every woman can have fun

16. There is no standard body

17. Occupations have no gender

18. Motherhood is not a condition of womanhood

19. Trainers should also be trained

20. Leave no one behind

The Orange Summit ended with presentations of university and high school students participated in 16-day activism awareness campaigns.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established in 1969 and as the biggest aid source with international funding in the area of population operating around the world. UNFPA operates in more than 150 countries for creating policies and strategies that support sustainable development. Having started its activities on a project basis, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has been working on reproductive health, encouraging social gender equality, collecting, using and distributing data about development and humanitarian aid in Turkey since 1971. Within this framework, the first Country Program lasted from 1988 to 1992 and now the Sixth Country Program (2016-2020) is being executed.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To this end, UNFPA focuses especially 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDG 3: Good health and well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality and finally, SDG 17: Partnerships for Goals

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