Today I participated in Changing Views to Women’s Leadership 2017 conference; both as a representative of PWN Istanbul from the 5 NGOs and as a panelist of the leadership panel. … but it was different.During the conference I thought and felt that I should write this. People from different platforms came together. There were small, entrepreneurial women, business professionals, social enterpreneurs, NGO representatives, company owners. I was also a part of the organization team, but I did not realize that we were able to provide that variety until the conference. I have an attention deficit problem , therefore I am able to distracted quickly but I followed the whole meeting with care and I am touched from time to time. It has been said that technology changes everyday life, economy and business life, but I undersood that to how difficult and how necessary it is to change the codes we have grown up with,to understand each other, to support each other for overcoming prejudices and biases .
The half-day panel had three main sessions. In the first session, a father-son and a couple describe how they destroyed their dogma in their lives; they refer to effects of those dogmas on their life journey. While I was listening to transformation stories of the bosses of Tezmaksan Mak.San.A.Ş. Fatma Aydogdu and Mustafa Aydogdu ,father of Fatma, , I could not decide which of the stories was more poignant. Mustafa who is the father explained how the norms of traditional society put barriers on their way and how they could overcome those. He told that he was married when he was 14-year-old and was a child groom. Then he mentioned girls were not able to continue their education after primary school but he changed his mind thanks to his brother than he talked about the effects of decision change on his daughter. We definetely felt the calm but powerful charachter of Ms. Fatma when she started talking. She explained that the disciples saw themselves as an experience in their life journey and continued their motivation – keeping their energy strong. After graduating from primary school, she continued her education, and now she is continuing her career as a partner and manager of her company. You can see it as a representation of a powerful Anatolian woman.
At the same session, young couples who manage their own initiatives in the technology sector shared their feelings and how they continue their way without preferring marriage in 15 years of togetherness. This diversity of participants definetely represented the mosaic of Turkey! In the Leadership panel, as a woman, I tried to explain the break points, achievements or lessons I learned in my life.All female speakers had different energies, but they seem to have a lot of similiar experiences and feelings.
The last panel was devoted to Women’s NGOs. PWN İstanbul was one of the participants as an NGO. Here, in fact, each NGO has focused on different fields in women’s issues, but the common denominator is to explain that they aim to improve the vision of the woman, to broaden her domain of influence, to grow together.
March 8, International Women’s Day.
It’s not a celebration day.
It is International Laborer Women’s Day.
It is the day of women who are struggling for their economic and social freedoms; It is the day for those women to find out what is happening around them and even what is happening to them, to speak , to think and to discuss.
On the other hand, change starts from the inside.
First, every woman needs to have that fire in her and, of course, she needs to discover it.
Who am I?
What do I want to do?
How will I be more happy?
Now I am happy, but what are my dreams for 5-10-20 years later?
Wife, mother, child, employee etc. beyond our identities we begin to recognize ourselves as human beings, and change begins when we dream. If you want to make a difference and you believe you will do it with some help, GIVE A HAND to a woman around you. Or the other way around, you are working but you feel like you are turning in a gear, then ask for help.
NGOs that focused on women, women who stand out in society, or anyone who gives you confidence can support you.