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The W20 2019 Tokyo Summit

Every year G20 is hosted by one country and this year the presidency of the G20 resides with Japan. The G20 Leaders’ Summit shall take place on June 28 and 29, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. The Summit for the women outreach group of the G20, W20 – Women 20 was held in Tokyo on March 22 and 24, 2019. In Japan Sakura is a special festivity to welcome spring. Sakura has two special meanings, one is cherry blossom that make the cherry trees pink, giving everybody fresh and happy spring welcoming. Secondly, it also represents – a culture of re-born, where the blossoms that are born at the end of March very quickly turn into cherry – the new beginnings. The financial and university calendars in Japan get their inspiration from these blossoms. The W20 meeting was held at Sakura time, which is also kind of sacred time for Japan.…

Asian Leadership Conference held in Seoul, South Korea by ChosunMedia the Chosunilbo on May 14-15, 2019

I was a speaker at the Asian Leadership Conference. I was delighted to be there. Almost every speaker I had a chance to listen said the same thing. They were happy to be there, and I believe it was not a cliché, but people were happy to be in Seoul. There was an interested, respectful and sincere audience listening to the speakers wholeheartedly. I found the conference to be very valuable to the community in Korea. To listen to what is happening in G20 and W20- Women 20 the audience looked happy. The timing was in due course as the Korean Presidency of G20 took place in 2010, just before many Prime Ministers and influential people started declaring that they are feminists and further two W20 conferences were held in the neighborhood of Korea, the W20 Xi’an Summit in China in 2016 and the W20 Tokyo Summit in Japan in…

UN Secretary General António Guterres’ speech at the UN Townhall for the Meeting of the Civil Society at CSW63

This year the meeting was opened by the Executive Director of UN Women and the meeting started with songs while Secretary General was entering the Townhall. The auditorium was full of representatives of many countries with their colorful outfits. KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey) was at the meeting with a fairly large delegation. The theme of this year was “push back against the push back”. In gender we have a challenge to push back for the push back. That is, we must challenge with the push back said the UN Secretary General António Guterres, who is one of the highest-ranking officials in the world that had declared himself to be feminist. Push back is a term in aviation. For the plane to go to the runway there needs to be pushback to start the move. The move needs to start. The central question of gender equality is a question…

Ludvig Nobel Prize Ceremony and the City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a city that hosts record number of art work in the Guinness Book of Records at the Hermitage Museum. The world’s largest collection of paintings at the Hermitage Museum  is a state museum. It was founded in 1764 by  the Tsarina Catharina 2. also known as  Catharine the Great.The collection stayed for a  some time in the form of private collection of the palace so only few people could have visited. The collection was opened for the public in 1852, more than 88 years later and more than two generations have passed. During the siege of the city in the Second World War, in 1941, the art objects were moved to another city and reinstated again in 1945. The museum has about 3 million works of art. Works are starting from the stone age. Catherine the Great in addition to the museum she had built, she opened the first Russian Art…

IWF – International Women Forum Conference in Barcelona

I was in Barcelona on April 9 -12 for IWF Cornerstone Conference. Before the opening of the conference, there was another meeting held, which was IWF Presidents’ Council Meeting. After the opening speeches the topics included a new video made by IWF Global in order to present the value proposition of IWF. It will be sent around by the Global President Deborah Trudeau. I believe it is good news and it will need to be translated into Turkish. IWF Turkey’s Founding President Funda Sivrikaya appears in the video with a great look. If IWF Turkey’s past term President Aytül Erçil was also there, I couldn’t frankly catch while watching. It gives us one more great reason to watch.  The second topic was the Forum to Forum Connections, and it is a must for attracting new members and especially young members. We may establish forum to forum connections as IWF Turkey. There…

Handle the Economies with Care, Spring Meetings 2019, Washington DC

The Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde said that the “economies need to be handled with care.” Last year she had said to the Finance Ministers that “it is when the sun is shining you have to fix the roof” borrowing the sentence from the President John F. Kennedy.  In January, in Davos, the Managing Director had announced a further downward revision of the forecast. The world economy is growing more slowly than expected and risks are rising. At that time the goal was declared to make economies more resilient and more inclusive as well as the need to increasing collaboration were mentioned. From January to April there appears no sunshine in the economy. Now, only 70% of the global economy is expected to experience a slowdown in growth, while no recession is expected. While the 2019 Q4 may even bring better news, however it is now a delicate moment for the global economy. It was described as…

Thank you, Women 20, – W20 Argentina! All the best, Women 20 – W20 Japan!

November 20, 2018 was the day of handover of the Presidency of Women 20 – W20 from Argentina to Japan. W20 Argentina hosted the W20 team with great enthusiasm and courtesy in Buenos Aires. The W20 meeting was held in CCK – Kirshner Cultural Center – in Buenos Aires. The text was agreed with comments from the W20 representatives in detail and attention, as well as dedication. The next day several panels were held with the world leaders on gender issues. To cite just a few of the speakers were Phumzile Miambo Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women; Gabriela Ramos, the Chief of Staff and Sherpa of OECD; Irene Natividad, the President of GlobeWomen Research and Education Institute; Lilianne Ploumen, Member of the Parliament of the Netherlands, Svetlana Lukash, the Russian G20 Sherpa from the Presidential Executive Office. Very knowledgeable other leaders from the region also had the opportunity…

Women 20 Recommendations to the Governments

Women 20 (W20) was set up under the 2015 Turkish G20 Presidency as a stand-alone official G20 Engagement Group, which focuses on the promotion of economic growth in a gender responsive and inclusive manner.  This year, the G20 Presidency is with Argentina. The W20 Summit was recently held in Buenos Aires. Four main topics were discussed: Women’s labor inclusion Since the G20 Leaders Declaration at the 2012 Los Cabos Summit in Mexico, economic inclusion is on the agenda of G20 governments. For this purpose, the G20 governments signed a 25 by 25 principle in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. Until the year 2025, each country will decrease their own gap by 25 percent in the employment of women. This year, labor inclusion was discussed at length in workshops all over the world. The demand was to accelerate the pace of inclusion, invest in care economy, promote shared parental responsibility and eliminate all forms of discrimination…

Dr. Gülden Turktan has received the Public Recognition Award of the Second Eurasian Women Forum of 2018 in St.Petersburg, Russia.

The Forum has been organized by the courtesy of government of Russia with auspices of President Putin. The award is organized for the recognition of the achievements of women in their work and for their contributions towards the sustainable development of the society. The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum Award embodies a ceremony for the public acknowledgment of the contributions of the winners in forming, implementing and developing the modern agenda aimed sustainable development in the civil society as well as bringing forward healthy and upright society. The Second Eurasian Forum was organized under the leadership of Valentina Matviyenka, the Chairperson of the Council of Russian Federation, the most influential woman in Russia. In the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum Prize “Public Recognition – 2018” award ceremony was held in the Catherine Hall of the Tauride Palace on September 21, 2018. Gülden Türktan received her Public Recognition Award from Valentina Matviyenko, as…

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen was the title of the policy forum organized by Chatham House and took place on July 9-10 in London. The title is not only eye catching, but also quite controversial. Is there anybody suggesting that we need to go back? This was addressed by the keynote speech of Arancha Gonzales, the Executive Director of International Trade Centre. Other opening addresses were conducted by Susan Harris Rimmer who is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and Associate Professor at Griffith University; Paola Subacchi who is Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House; and Julie Teigland who is the Chair of International Policy Forum and Managing partner of EY Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as the Global Leader for EY’s Women Fast Forward Program. Recap of G20 and G7 work was discussed under Susan Rimmer’s moderation with W20 Chair for Argentina – Susano Balbo; Canadian…

Interview with Dr. Gulden Turktan, the first President of the Women 20 group

During the 2015 G20 Presidency of Turkey, in April 2015, the Women 20 (W20) group was created to increase women’s participation in the business world. The W20 will operate similarly to the Business 20 (B20) group and will act as an engagement group with a Secretariat responsible for preparing a final declaration for the G20 Leaders’ summit in November 2015. Empower Women in Istanbul interviewed Dr. Gülden Türktan, the first President of W20. She is one of the founders and President of the Women Entrepreneurs’ Association in Turkey (KAGIDER), and is currently a member of its Executive Board. Dr. Türktan was one of the masterminds behind FEM—a successful equal opportunity workplace programme launched by KAGIDER with a keynote speech of Robert Zoellick, former President of The World Bank. She is also an entrepreneur, and for 20 years, she worked as an executive and board member of the local operation of one…

Can you have a second chance? Yes, you can!

Aysen Savcı studied Industrial Engineering at the Middle East Technical University. “Back then Industrial Engineering was not a classical discipline, but a fairly new discipline” says Aysen. After school she worked at Ericsson, later she joined the Swedish Trade Council as the Trade Commissioner of Sweden to Turkey and still further she worked in Sweden as the Vice President of the Council in promoting the international trade of Sweden. “Though I quite enjoyed working life and I was satisfied with my job, I always felt like I needed to create something with my hands” says Aysen. “My friends didn’t think much of this passion of mine, since it was open to speculation what I could be doing with my hands, since I couldn’t even find the time to cook!” She further comments. I was one of those friends to convince her to go back to the corporate world. “I want…

W20 – Women 20 of G20 – in CSW62 in 2018

Every year United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) holds a series of meetings about the recent topics, developments and prospects for gender equality in a sustainable world. This year it was the 62nd year of these meetings. And it is recognised as CSW62.   Every year since 2011, which was the first year of my Presidency in KAGIDER, KAGIDER makes a presentation of the best practice project of the year. This year’s project was together with Danone regarding a study initiated by Gamze Çuhadaroglu of Danone. The project is based on the premise that when mothers are working, their kids will be healthier and happier. The children of working mothers will have better chances choices in their lives in terms of their education potential to their career availabilities and selection. Additionally, Danone leads the campaign for businesses to establish a breast-feeding room in their respective work places.…

Conference on Gender and Trade, closing the Gender Gap – A Tool for Economic & Trade Development in Pakistan

According to World Economic Forum’s (WEF) November 2017 paper, Pakistan ranks 143 among 144 countries of the study in gender gap index, whereas neighboring Bangladesh ranks 47- which represents the best rank in the region. Taking the current ranking into consideration, the opportunity for improvement seems to be huge for Pakistan.  World Bank Group’s motto of “leave nobody behind”, imposes attention to be given to Pakistan’s gender gap. Further to this gap, population growth of Pakistan seems to be quite high. The population growth is not as high as the growth expected in Africa, where the world’s highest population growth is expected, but already the latest count of population indicates that 207 million people are living in Pakistan. This figure makes ranking of Pakistan to be the world’s 5 th most populous country. The ranking in the world starts with China, followed by India, the United States and Indonesia. Still, the growth rate of…

A very good development to watch out: 30% Club

Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of 30 Percent Club was in Turkey on March 30, 2018. In 2015, Brenda took over from Helena Morrissey as Global Chair of the 30% Club. Brenda has experience in the capital markets, banking and in financial institutions as well as the Boards she has been serving. Among many other many important interventions Brenda explained a very similar experience that I have gone through. When you are the only person in the Board, it is difficult. Even when you are two women on the Board, still nothing is solved. The other members can’t even remember who had said what, but they recall that “one of the women members said so and so” kind of attitude. Why can’t men differentiate between the two women who are sitting on the Board, when women don’t – or can’t – confuse 7 men sitting in the Board? I could never understand this. So,…