Good luck little girl
This is a rough and difficult path. You will face many hurdles.
Along with your share as a citizen in “per capita gross national depression,” you will also have to fight against prejudice, clichés and discrimination.
This system - which ignores you and sees you as an inept person in school, business life, politics, at home and on the streets, and which with all its generosity binds you with “quotas” - is designed to keep you away, little girl.
All those reports, numbers and statistics are indeed scary.
One in three women are not working or not going to school. Many of them live entirely behind the walls of their homes, unable to go outside, produce anything, or share with others. The only world they know is the world they see on “selected” TV channels.
But still 54 percent of the country’s youth think that Turkey is no different than Europe! Our youth do not have the knowledge to compare the “worlds” they have never seen but they are still so self-confident!
For instance, 95 percent of women in Turkey do not hold a passport and only one percent of them have travelled abroad for vacation.
Of course, this is not your fault, little girl.
The rules of society, of the country’s institutions, and of family and school do not clear the way for you. On the contrary, they make you clean up all the dirt and still end up underpaying you.
They lock you up in the house; they lock up your soul. This society narrows your horizon of vision.
If you have not yet experienced violence and inequality at home, you probably will at school. Research shows that 46 percent of young women are beaten at school or experience physical punishment.
Listen, little girl: Some 71 percent of young women say their teachers perpetuate gender inequality. Thirty-five percent of young women think they should get permission from their fathers, spouses and brothers to work. Twenty-six percent of them think “men should be given more job opportunities.” Twenty percent agree that “women should not be paid more than men.” Chillingly, 19 percent of young women say that “if necessary, women may be slapped,” with 6 percent saying “they deserve to be slapped if they refuse to have sexual intercourse with their husband” and 5 percent say “women may be slapped if they burn the food”
We are not talking about what men think here. We are talking about what 2,000 young women in Turkey polled by the Sia Insight company.
All of these results depress me. I cannot imagine how you feel to read them on the eve of the March 8 International Women’s Day.
But do not lose your hope little girl. Personally, I heard encouraging stories at the recent “Power of Women” conference that may help you overcome all the hurdles on your path. I heard stories from brave women at the conference, hosted by Hürriyet on March 5 and supported by leading institutions from several industries.
At the conference I heard stories about women making history. Maybe it is difficult to make history like those we heard about at the conference, but it is not impossible.
We may have a system built and operated by men, leaving women behind. But we must pin our hope on you, little girl.
First of all, save yourself. If you manage to do that we will all be saved.
Good luck, little girl.