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Aydın Doğan Foundation, inspired with the message 'Empowered Girls for an Empowered Future' at the 65th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Session.

For girls in Turkey to access equal opportunities in education and these opportunities to be strengthened; Aydın Doğan Foundation, a pioneer of many efforts and studies in this field, has organized the "Future of #GenerationEquality: Empowering Young Women = Empowering Girls" panel on March 23rd, as a part of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women which took place between March 15 to 26.

In the panel organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, who has been leading and supporting the activities carried out in the field of women's empowerment for many years and guiding the activities of the Foundation in this field, conveyed her experiences on the subject and the work carried out in the international arena in her opening speech.

In the panel, astrobiologist Betül Kaçar from the University of Arizona, the first Turkish woman and the youngest scientist to manage a research center at NASA; journalist and writer Melis Alphan; a graduate student at the Faculty of Law Derya Gizem Üst, and Candan Fetvacı, the Chairwoman of the Executive Board of the Aydın Doğan Foundation were present and caught the attention of the audience with their inspiring speeches.

The 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held online by the United Nations on 15-26 March, met with the whole world. At the event, where the difficulties in achieving gender equality were evaluated, Aydın Doğan Foundation held the panel “Future of #GenerationEquality: Empowering Young Women = Empowering Girls” on Tuesday, March 23rd.

In the panel, Aydın Doğan Foundation highlighted the importance of children and young people being pioneers and taking action to have a say in their future, emphasizing the multiplier effect achieved by the empowerment of young women. The moderator of the panel was gender equality expert Şehnaz Kıymaz Bahçeci, and the issues evaluated throughout the panel were carefully monitored.

”Empowered Girls for an Empowered Future is Not a Dream”

Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Aydın Doğan Foundation, spoke on "Empowered Girls, Empowered Futures" saying ”As the leaders of the next generation, we discuss the best practices for the empowerment of young women and girls. Thanks to the educational support we provide, the opportunities of our young girls are increasing, and they are building a better and more meaningful future for themselves. And with this, they do not only develop themselves, but they also do their best to benefit their environment. One of the best examples of this is Mine Ekinci, who founded the Village Schools Exchange Network (KODA). We hope that Mine’s inspirational story will set an example for all our young people. We continue to believe that there should be an equal and quality education for everyone. No girl should be left behind.”

Betül Kaçar, the first Turkish scientist to be accepted to the NASA team, the youngest scientist and the President of the Astrobiology Research Center at NASA, on the empowerment of young women, said ” Today, when we examine the primary-secondary and high school classes, we see the presence of girls and the ratio of female-male students to be approximately 50%. When we examine the branches of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), we observe that this rate decreases. Gender discrimination and the created male domination in the Science and Mathematics departments must be equalized. We exist as women as well.”

Journalist, writer Melis Alphan said, “One of my biggest duties as a female journalist is to make the problems faced by girls and women visible. Especially in the second half of my 20-year journalism life, I prioritize the topics of violence and discrimination against women and examine women's solidarity among themselves. Raising the voices of our girls/women who are silent day by day increases my hope and makes me walk on this path with faith.” Based on the inspirational stories of young women in the book “If I Want To”, Alphan shared that what she observed in the process, the obstacles they faced, and how they overcame these obstacles.

Derya Gizem Üst, a graduate student at the Faculty of Law, said, ”Myself and my 14 friends are working on the ‘You Can Do It Too’ project. We support female high school students to attend university, and we create awareness of issues such as gender equality in society. You can do it too.” She shared her experiences on the "You Can Do It Too!" Platform, one of the student projects supported by the foundation.

Candan Fetvacı, Chairman of the Executive Board of Aydın Doğan Foundation, said, “This year, Aydın Doğan Foundation celebrates the 25th anniversary of its support to the education of children and the 16th anniversary of its educational support to girls. Today we are proud to continue on this journey and to host this panel.”

The panel was concluded after the participants' questions were answered.

You can view the Future of #GenerationEquality: Empowering Young Women = Empowering Girls pane from the YouTube account of the Aydın Doğan Foundation or from this link: