ARZU KAYA – Women’s number one duty: UNiTE

Women’s number one duty: UNiTE Nowadays, my favorite color is orange. As you might know, Nov.

25 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day.

The United Nations secretary-generaland#39s campaign UNiTE invites you to andldquoOrange YOUR Neighbourhoodandrdquo to end violence against women. The andldquo16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaignandrdquo is a time to promote action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

While we follow all the good news about different orange events about violence against women, we unfortunately are witnessing disturbing related news, too: The Cosby Showand#39s loving family man — Bill Cosby, age 77 — has faced a series of allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted more than a dozen women. NFL player Ray Rice was seen in two separate videos cruelly assaulting Janet Rice, then his fiancandeacutee and now his wife.

The tragic death of TuIe Albayrak, a young Turkish immigrant in Germany who was killed while she tried to stop a young man from taunting two teenage girls, has shocked not only Germany but the entire the world.These are only a few of the headlines of last week regarding the never-ending violence against women.

According to UN statistics, one out of every three women will one day be a victim of violence. Every day, women and young girls face violence from a loved one, such as a husband, father, brother, relative or friend and continue their lives as if nothing happened.

Violence is part of womenand#39s life at home, at school, on the street, at work. It is everywhere.

Women face many forms of violence including rape, incest, sexual slavery and domestic violence.While reacting to the violence, some women also want to promote awareness about the inequality they face every day, everywhere in the world.

World leaders must play an integral part in peace processes. They have different responsibilities.

They cannot talk the way people talk on the street. They have to set a good example and they have to be role models.

A leader shouldnand#39t talk about sensitive issues the way Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan did in his speech at the Women and Democracy Associationand#39s gathering last week.ErdoIan has to remember that action speaks louder than words and check Turkeyand#39s recent big picture before opening his mouth.

The numbers show women are still dealing with enormous discrimination. The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 released by the World Economic Forum ranked Turkey 132nd out of 142 countries in terms of womenand#39s economic participation and opportunity and 105th in educational attainment.

According to the Turkish news website Bianet, in the first 10 months of 2014, 253 women were killed, 98 women and girls were raped, 523 women and girls were physically abused, of whom 104 were sexually abused.The International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) also alleges that child marriages in Turkey constitute 14 percent of all marriages.

Statistics from the Womenand#39s Status Directorate General (KSSGM) state that almost 4 million women in Turkey are illiterate.Given this situation, if a president starts a speech saying andldquoWomen are not equal,andrdquo he will only encourage emotional abuse against women.

ErdoIan said many things in that speech, but people only remember this statement and his accusation against feminists, who he claimed andldquodonand#39t understand what motherhood is.andrdquoMr ErdoIan is so wrong.

Women have rediscovered the importance of womanhood. For the women of today, itand#39s not enough to enter the world of men, but rather itand#39s time to change the parameters of that world and time to reshape the way it can function for women.

It started years ago. Todayand#39s women can have both andldquoa career and kids,andrdquo just like Nil Karaibra.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman