The Third Social Gender Justice Congress opened in Istanbul Tuesday and looked into gender roles and how to achieve justice in terms of gender-based equality.
The annual event organized by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) tackles topics like women's issues, rights and efforts to increase balance in equality between men and women.
In her opening speech, KADEM President Sare Aydın Yılmaz said Turkey had the chance of having an advanced model for gender justice as the conversion to Islam among Turks helped merge the powerful role women assumed in traditional Turkish society and Islam's view of women as individuals who have equal rights with men. She said women in Turkish communities have always had equal status with men in social affairs. On the present-day problems of women, especially in Turkey, Yılmaz said the education of women is a vital element for the advancement of society, especially in terms of the education of children by their mothers.
"If the education level of women improves, it will certainly help make a society more prosperous and improve family life. It is also important to support enterprises by women and women's participation in the workforce in order to boost women's position in society and improve the socioeconomic status of families. In the capitalist industrialization process and current global economy, women have access to multiple labor markets, but they are forced to abandon their family life and motherhood. This forces women to make a choice between their career and their role as a wife and mother or struggle to keep a balance between the two roles," she said, adding that addressing this dilemma would help make progress in resolving women's issues.
The congress brings together Turkish and foreign experts in panels and conferences on women's status in society, academia, politics and economy.
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