Turkish youth meet ahead of int’l girls’ conference
Cansu Şimşek - ISTANBUL
Some 70 young people from different provinces of Turkey have come together ahead of the Oct. 11 International Day of the Girl Child Conference at a workshop where they held discussions on children’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of girls.
In the closing ceremony of the workshop held in Istanbul, Aydın Doğan Foundation President Hanzade Doğan Boyner held a short speech.
“You worked very hard in the two-day-long workshop, and we will give voice to you. Our only hope is the youth. Very glad we have you,” she said.
Turkey’s Aydın Doğan Foundation is hosting the third International Day of the Girl Child Conference on Oct. 11 in Istanbul in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), U.N. Women, and UNICEF and in consultation with the U.N. Results Group on Gender Equality.
Under the theme of “Powerful girls, powerful futures: The social change actors of the 21st century,” the conference organized to address girls’ roles and needs in building robust societies will turn, on its third year, into an international platform with the attendance of world-renowned figures.
Leading names from Turkey and the world will join the International Day of the Girl Child Conference to discuss the empowerment of girls while drawing attention to the importance of gender equality and education. But just days ahead of the conference in Istanbul, between Oct. 6 and 9, the Aydın Doğan Foundation hosted almost 70 girls aged between 14 and 18 in a workshop at Holiday Inn Hotel in Istanbul’s Şişli district to offer them a platform for their voices to be heard.
During the workshop, Doğan Boyner and Iraqi scientist and medical doctor Nisreen El-Hashemite, currently in Istanbul for the conference, came together with the girls.
El-Hashemite advised the youngsters to never give up on their dreams. “Be happy, always laugh. And always target to reach the highest star in the sky. Do not abstain from dreaming, because you can one day be what you desire,” she said.
El-Hashemite also conveyed her thanks to the Aydın Doğan Foundation and UNICEF for their efforts.
Doğan Boyner told the girls she appreciated their works during the two-day workshop, saying the foundation would “give a place for the results of your works” at the conference on Oct. 11.
The workshop was also marked with a concert given by the Aydın Doğan Fine Arts High School choir. Doğan Boyner and El-Hashemite danced together with the girls and danced the traditional halay while the choir was performing.
With the advocacy efforts of Turkey, Canada and Peru, the United Nations General Assembly declared Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to end discrimination against girls and to fully and effectively ensure the human rights of girls.
The day has been observed annually since 2012.