Women Solidarity Will Make a Better World to Live in
The founder of Equality, Justice, Women Platform, Gülseren Onanç participated in the women leadership forum titled “Connected Leadership to Activate Change” organized by the journalist, producer, media manager and TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell on April 23-27, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation. Onanç wrote about her impressions and notes regarding the forum that brought together 34 women from various countries of the world.
I was at the Bellagio Center on April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey. This is a paradise on the Swiss border of Italy, with its back to the Alps, above Lake Como. Every year, the Bellagio Center hosts 120 people within its outstanding 50-acre garden managed by the Rockefeller Foundation, including artists, academics, politicians and activists that contribute to the development of humanity. This center, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2019, aims to create a strong solidarity network among those people coming from different disciplines in different countries.
I attended the 2019 Bellagio Women’s Leadership Forum titled “Connected Leadership to Activate Change.” I’ve met 34 great women from all over the world. Each of these women can be defined as a success story respectively, so we shared their stories with you on our Equality, Justice, Women Platform. Just knowing them will give you hope.
The world will be a much better place if we change
The first and only female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, whom I have the honor of traveling to Bellagio together, is also the UN’s special envoy for climate change and the Chair of the Elders. She has become a spokeswoman for climate change as she continues her struggle for human rights throughout her life. “I want to leave a sustainable world behind me for my children and grandchildren,” she says. She defines herself as an “angry grandmother.”
She advises us to get angry with the authorities who have been a mere spectator against the current direction of the world while they can still interfere. “I am changing my habits, I quit eating meat, our generation has consumed less and I have reduced consumption more. To achieve 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, we need women’s leadership in solidarity across the globe. Take climate change seriously and change your life. When we change our life, the world will be a better place to live in,” she heralds.
Our world is far from equality on the 25th anniversary of Beijing
With the decisions taken at the World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing in 1995, great hope was born for gender equality in the world. 2020 will be the 25th anniversary of Beijing Conference, but there is not a single country in the world where equality is achieved. Although there are significant achievements during this period, gender-based violence, discrimination, and inequality prevail. We are experiencing polarization and regression on equality, pluralism and global solidarity.
Dr. Pumzile Gloria Mlambo-Ngcuka is the Executive Director of the UN Women established a decade ago as part of the United Nations, working for gender equality and the empowerment of women. In 2018, she was named the most influential person in the world in gender policy around the world. She is a South African politician. She states that governments are not subject to sanctions when they do not comply with the agreements they signed upon. She says that misogyny must be punished and that it is important to work together with the media and the business community.
On the other hand, there is a strong, promising wave of feminism is rising in global partnership with different generations and different groups. This wave is effective both in the public sphere and in the private sphere and pushes for change.
Make 2020 the year of equality
2020 is the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the 5th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 10th anniversary of UN Women. In this particular year, we can create momentum to achieve equality and justice.
During the meeting, we looked for answers to the question of how the need for education and workforce would be shaped in line with the world’s changing balances and new technologies. We have thought about how to create alternative media in the new media order.
Jude Kelly, the founder of the Women of the World Festival (WOW) that started in Great Britain and then spread to various parts of the world, is organizing festivals that combine the power of art, thinking and music. A WOW festival will be held in Istanbul in the coming September. We will be there as Equality, Justice Women’s Platform.
We can overcome problems with solidarity
During the 4-day meeting, which started with a morning breakfast and ended with an evening meal, we laughed a lot, sometimes we cried, danced, built new friendships, and raised our hope and confidence for the future. The women who participated in the meeting were coming from different ages, backgrounds and experiences, and different institutions, but there was one issue that they all agreed upon: We can overcome the problems with solidarity.
We are extremely grateful for the curators Pat Mitchell and Ronda Carnegie for their great organization.