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International Women's Day to be marked around country

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 3/7/2010 12:00:00 AM |

As Women’s Day is marked by discussions and activities Monday, some women’s groups took to the streets over the weekend to demand the day be made an official holiday.

As International Women’s Day is marked by various discussions and activities Monday, some women’s groups took to the streets over the weekend to demand the day be made an official holiday.

Representatives from a number of non-governmental organizations and political parties gathered in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district on Saturday to demand Women’s Day be declared an official holiday with full pay, Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.

The demonstrators chanted slogans saying, “Women do not want to live like birds in a cage,” and “No to massacres against women.” Other participants, meanwhile, drew mustaches on their faces to protest the patriarchal system.

In a separate event designed to increase women’s power and involvement in football, the Turkish Football Federation is organizing a football match between two teams that include professional female players, female journalists and actresses.

The match kicks off at 11 a.m. in the Beylerbey district on Istanbul’s Anatolian side.

At the same time a panel examining “migrant women and writers,” will be held at the Tarık Zafer Tunaya Culture Center in Istanbul’s Taksim on Monday. Writer Salma Jayyusi, Lebanese women’s rights activist Joumana Haddad, Syrian poet Maram al-Masri, Iraqi poet Amal al-Jubouri and Nathalie Handal, an American poet with Palestinian origin, will attend the seminar to share their thoughts.

Turkey’s Women Associations’ Federation was planning to begin its “Create the Change” campaign in İzmir late Sunday with a press conference at the same time activists were planning to organize a demonstration in İzmir’s Konak Square.

Monday will also see the opening of “Being a man is an exception,” a photograph exhibition organized by the Community Volunteers’ Foundation, in more than a dozen provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir.

More than 30 groups attended the Kadıköy protest, including the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, or KESK, the Human Rights Association, or İHD, Amnesty International, the Women Workers’ Association, and political parties such as the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, the Freedom and Democracy Party, or ÖDP, and the Labor Party, or EMEP.

[HH] Initiative for prostitutes

Meanwhile, a special unit in the Prime Ministry’s Human Rights Department will begin a project aimed at giving prostitutes the opportunity to find alternative employment, the daily Akşam reported Sunday.

Sociologists and psychologists interviewed 3,000 registered prostitutes working at brothels to determine whether they have been forced into the job and whether they would prefer another line of employment.

There are 15,000 registered prostitutes in Turkey, 3,000 of whom work in 56 brothels. There are an estimated 100,000 unregistered prostitutes in the country.

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