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2018

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Women’s Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER) – United Nations Visit UN CSW’62

Having a special consultancy status on the United Nations Economic and Social Council, KAGİDER has been attending to the meetings held within the United Nations Headquarters in New York since 2011 and presents one of its successful projects that is being implemented as a “Good Practice from Turkey” relevant to the primary theme. 

62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings were held with the main theme of “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls” between March 12 and March 23, 2018. Within the context of the main theme, successes and challenges that are faced on the way to achieving the sustainable development goals regarding women and girls were discussed thoroughly in the sessions.

As KAGİDER Delegation, we were at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in order to attend the valuable series of conferences between March 12 and March 16, 2018. Our dedicated delegation has included 2 Presidents of KAGİDER, Gülseren Onanç and Gülden Türkan, who have provided even more strength to our 21-member delegation. With our past and present, we have represented KAGİDER in terms of both national and international organizations in New York. 

The detailed program that we followed and the events that we attended were as follows:

March 12,2018 As KAGİDER Delegation, we visited Consul General of New York, Mr. Ertan Yalçın at his office as we do it every year. We shared the details and findings about our project, “Working Mums” incorporated with Danone as well as talked about what KAGİDER members have been doing and have achieved in the past year in their businesses. 

March 12, 2018
Within the context of 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, we have organized our press meeting with representatives of Danone, hosted by Turkish Consulate General in New York to inform the press about our project and campaign results of “Working Mums”. We have also invited the participants to our panel that was going to be held on March 13, 2018.

March 13,2018 World Women Summit was held together by Turkish American Businessman Association (MÜSİAD USA) and Women and Democracy Association (KADEM). KAGİDER was also invited to the summit, where we have attended as audience member as a delegation and Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was also present.

March 13,2018 We have attended to the side event, “Women, Migration and Refugee Crisis”, held in United Nations General Assembly within the context of 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which was organized jointly with the coordination of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Family and Social Policies and Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

March 13,2018 Carried with the joint cooperation of Danone and KAGİDER, we have presented the research findings of our project “Working Mums” in a side event within the context of the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings in Church Center to other countries as an example. Aiming at creating awareness in the public on the issue of the value that working mums will add to both themselves and to their families by continuing their work lives, “Working Mums” Project has highly appreciated by the representatives of other countries. In the panel organization, President of UN Women New York, Mary Luke, was also present as the key speaker.

In the event, President of KAGİDER, Sanem Oktar and General Manager of Danone Su, Gamze Çuhadaroğlu, revealed the results of the study of working mums and their returning back to workforce after giving a break to their professional careers. Accordingly, Sanem Oktar reported that “Working Mums” project aims to encourage women to work so that their self-confidence and economic power will improve as well as the purchasing power and the social status of the family will increase. It is presented that 40% of women stop working after giving birth to their children. In order to change that situation, it is emphasized that public and private sector should work together towards establishing lactation rooms and available kinder garden facilities while keeping in mind that women’s participation to the workforce is a common responsibility for all of us.

In line, Gamze Çuhadaroğlu suggested that Danone is first to initiate a global policy towards working mum and dads, and rewarded as Thematic Champion by HeForShe. She underlined that the carried study results show that working mums who return back to their professional career have a significant positive impact over their children in the sense that the children will acquire the understanding of gender equality at very early ages. 

Mary Luke pointed out that government will faster the initiatives on the issue to support women inclusion to workforce when more women will actively involve in the politics.

March 13, 2018
As KAGİDER Delegation, we have attended to the reception that was organized for KAGİDER by Permanent Representative of the United Nations Mr. Feridun Sinirlioğlu.

March 14, 2018
President of KAGİDER, Sanem Oktar delivered a speech on the side event entitled “Empowering Women in the Rural Areas, Perspective of Turkey” within the context of 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings. The session started with the main theme speech of Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya. After sharing related statistics on the topic, Sanem Oktar introduced the inspiring success stories of Ayten Çöl, Tülin Akın, Nuran Özyılmaz and Nesrin Karaoğlu Otuzoğlu, who are all KAGİDER members. The stories were highly appreciated in the international arena. 

March 14,2018
  As KAGİDER Delegation, we visited Permanent Representative of the United Nations Mr. Feridun Sinirlioğlu at his office. KAGİDER members have shared their business experiences and have valuable conversations with Mr. Feridun Sinirlioğlu.

March 14, 2018
We have joined the event specially held by New York Business Women Association for KAGİDER where we had the change to come together with the members of National Association of Women Business Owners. Vice President of KAGİDER, Zehra Güngör, introduced KAGİDER and the projects that are being conducted. NAWBO has also introduced themselves and possible business partnerships are discussed between the members and the associations.

March 15, 2018
President of KAGİDER, Sanem Oktar, Vice President Emine Erdem, Honorary Board Member Gülden Türktan, Board Member Meryem Salman and Secretary General Yeşim Seviğ attended to a side event organized by Argentina, term president of W20, and UNDP, where the agenda of W20 was discussed. Sanem Oktar shared her comments and suggestions in the name of KAGİDER, the founder of W20.

March 15, 2018
We have attended to the luncheon organized by SAP in honor of KAGİDER and UN WOMEN. In the meeting where we have come together with women entrepreneurs and representatives of the private sector, we had fruitful conversations about new business ideas and potential business partnerships.

March 15, 2018
We have attended to WEPs Annual Forum organized in UN ECOSOC room. In the women empowerment panel, President of UPS Foundation , which is “dream partner” of KAGİDER, Eduardo Martinez has delivered a speech, in which he shared the successful projects of UPS both at local and global levels and concluded his speech by thanking KAGİDER for cooperation on the way to empowering women. Within the context of WEPs Annual Forum, KAGİDER member, Ahu Serter made a speech on the session of “Investing in the Societal Gender Equality”.

March 15, 2018
President of KAGİDER, Sanem Oktar, Vice President Emine Erdem and Secretary General Yeşim Seviğ met with President of UPS Foundation, Eduardo Martinez and talked about possible areas of cooperation within the context of Shetrades.

March 15, 2018
We have attended to the reception organized by Turkish Philanthropy Funds in honor of KAGİDER. We met with donors of Turkish Philanthropy Funds and the board members and had fruitful conversations about new business ideas and potential business partnerships.

March 16, 2018
We have visited Vakıf Bank New York Office. We met with Vakıf Bank General Manager Hakkı Şenel, Assistant General Manager Güldal Şişman, and New Jersey Paterson Deputy Mayor Derya Taşkın. 

March 16, 2018 We have organized a business meeting in Turkish Trade Center, which is opened together with KAGİDER and TİM. In the meeting, we got informed about how Turkish Trade Center operates, how a company can rent a place at the center and the possible cooperation activities. 

It is emphasized in the meeting that for the exporters who want to enter the US market should know the marketplace and it will make it easy for the companies to operate in the market if they cooperate with representatives who know the market well. It is underlined that the standards in the ready wear market are settled but still, support should be received from the Ministry of Economics for market research. We realized that getting involved in the customer network is very valuable to be able to sell the products in large retailer companies such as Walmart. However, the initial step to be taken in order to be able to operate in the US market is emphasized as to have a meeting with Commercial Attache’s Office in the US Consulate.