International film festival empowers women in Turkey

Julia Nho – Today’s Zaman – Wednesday, 14 May 2014 (originally published  09 May)

Woman and man holding books on stage
The Ankara-based civil society organization Flying Broom commenced its 17th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival on Thursday. Image: Today’s Zaman

Flying Broom (Uçan Süpürge), an Ankara-based women’s NGO, commenced its 17th Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival on Thursday night at the State Opera and Ballet house in Ankara.

One of the most pressing problems affecting the empowerment of women in Turkey is the low level of women participating in decision-making processes at high levels in the political and economic sectors. Eda Özyurt Kılınç, a spokeswoman and project assistant for Flying Broom, told Today’s Zaman that she strongly agrees that the low participation rate of women in high-level posts is Turkey’s biggest challenge in empowering women and noted that it makes a big difference when women make decisions. She explained that society benefits as a whole when women can have active roles regarding welfare issues such as women’s rights, domestic violence, child marriage and problematic patriarchal traditions.

The festival aims to raise awareness about women’s empowerment and what it is like to be a woman, as increasing the number of women holding positions of power cannot be achieved without addressing other correlated factors, such as gender-based stereotyping; inequality with regard to familial duties; and the freedom to choose when to marry . . .

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