The Istanbul Summit, led by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), was held in Bangkok to discuss global problems facing women and possible solutions under the theme of women and gender equality for peace.
The event, hosted in Thailand's capital city, brought together about 300 participants from more than 33 countries. The summit focused on such topics as violence against women, low participation of women in the workforce, lower representation of women at decision-making mechanisms, victimization of women and children in conflict zones and the media's approach to these issues.
UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Roberta Clarke, Kenya's record holding athlete and UN Peace Ambassador Tegla Loroupe and GYV Vice President Hüseyin Hurmalı delivered the opening speeches.
On the first day of the summit, the first session titled "Setting the Framework: (Linking) Sustainable Development and Promotion of Peace" was moderated by Dr. Sawvanee Jitmoud, the head of Muslim World Policies Center. The speakers for this session were Mr. Youssef Mahmoud, from the US International Peace Institute, Dr. S. Ayşe Kadayıfçı, from Georgetown University, Dr. Rama Mani, from Oxford University International Studies Center and Prof. Susanne Schröter, from Frankfurt University.
Dr. Semiha Topal of Fatih University was the moderator of the second session titled "Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls." Asako Osaki, the Director of Gender Action Platform in Japan, Dr. Laurene Chua-Garcia, from the Philippines, Dr. Suriyadeo Tripathi from Thailand and Prof. İştar Gözaydın from İzmir Gediz University, delivered speeches during this session.
The last session held on Saturday was titled "Women, Peace and Security" during which UN Analyst Michiko Kuroda, Shamina Shafiq, the Director of India's Power Foundation, and Sevgi Akarçeşme, the former editor-in-chief of Today's Zaman newspaper delivered speeches.
On Sunday, the participants were divided into the working groups, namely "Women's Full and Effective Participation and Equal Opportunities for Leadership," "Good Governance and the Rule of Law," "Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Women in Conflict," and "Women’s Participation and Representation in Various Aspects of Conflict Prevention and Resolution." Simultaneous, "Parliamentary Session: Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality: Next-Steps" was held as a closed session.
12 parliamentarians from different countries attended this session. Speaking during the session, UN Permanent Observer H.E. Narinder Kakar indicated that the word will see greater fragmentation and contention if international leadership is not made available for all world people, particularly including victimized women and girls, playing emphasis on the responsibility to transform societies.
Fazilatun Nasa Bappy, a member of Bangladesh parliament, explained that women leadership in every area is promoted by government policies in Bangladesh.
Pam Roach, the senator for the state of Washington, was among the speakers.
The summit ended following the reading of the final declaration, drawn by the working groups and parliamentarians, and which will be included in the UN Development Goals.
Published on Journalists and Writers Foundation, 8 May 2016, Sunday