Message from Istanbul to the girl children around the world: You are not alone
Müjde Esin won Microsoft’s Women Leaders of Technology award as the most successful “Woman Educator of the Year” in 2017.
I had a chance to talk to her on the occasion of the international conference named “Strong Girls, Strong Future” organized for the third time in Istanbul by the Aydın Doğan Foundation together with the United Nations on the International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11.
Esin was born in the eastern province of Ağrı as the daughter of a family who immigrated to Istanbul due to her father’s work. Although she was very ambitious about research and technology from a very young age, her parents did not allow her to continue her education after high school.
“I gave a five-year break to my education because my parents did not allow me to go to the university. But later, I met Prof. Ünsal Oskay and my life changed,” she said. Esin graduated with a student certificate of high honors from the Communication and Design Department at Beykent University in Istanbul with a scholarship she received through the help of Prof. Oskay. Afterwards, she headed to London to learn English.
Coming to Westminster University in England, with “zero English” in her own words, she finished her master’s degree and prepared her thesis on the education of immigrant girl children who face integration problems.
Her KızCode Platform in 2016, which she carried out for young immigrant girls and women to earn their economic freedom was chosen as the most successful social enterprise by the Interior Ministry of England.
Computer coding education for girl children
Esin works together with the London Municipality and Thomson Reuters agency to introduce young girls between the ages of 7 to 11 and 11 to 17 with technology by giving them education in computer coding.
She carries out the same project’s Turkey branch with the support of Borusan Holding and also has a team here.
With a sponsor, she also wants to extend the KızCode projects throughout Turkey.
I also had a chance to meet the Indian doctor, Dr. Shurithi Kapoor.
Kapoor has founded the Sayfty organization in 2013 upon the increase of incidents of rape and violence against women in India in recent years.
Kapoor is a social gender equality supporter and aims to raise awareness and educate women and girls against violence.
The organization raises awareness about the laws and legal rights concerning violence and also teaches personal defense for women.
The work of Dr. Kapoor is not very easy because India is one of the countries where girls, among the 600 million girl children living in developing countries around the world, are subject to the most discrimination and violence.
Canan Dağdeviren is a role model
One of the participants of the conference young scientist Dr. Canan Dağdeviren told me with great enthusiasm about the “digestible capsule” they developed together with the research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
During the four years, Dağdeviren had ridden high between many successes, won awards and entered Forbes’ list of “The most successful scientists under the age of 30.”
The digestible sensors she talked about are in the form of pills and settle in the stomach once the capsule dissolves.
It researches digestive disorders in the stomach and tracks nutrition and medicine.
It is a source of hope for many people who suffer from upset stomach.