At the sessions which were held within the scope of the Third International Women and Justice Summit, “Strengthening of the Family Institution”, the developments in different areas for the purpose of strengthening the family, successful examples and the determinations and solution offered in relation to ongoing problems were discussed.
The session concerning “Threats and Opportunities Awaiting the Family in Modern World” addressed a number of issues affecting the family life ranging from urban life to education and health.
At the session which was moderated by Dr. Ignacio Socias, International Relations Director of the International Federation for Development of Family, the most important issues which concern family were discussed.
Family must live well
Having stated that “we want to understand better what happens when it comes to families”, Dr. Ignacio Socias added the following:
“Istanbul is one of the most important places where these issues will be discussed. It is important for a family not only to maintain its life, but to also live well.
But when we overcome poverty, time may bring it into perspective again. This time, family may have a deficiency in affection. When the family is in difficulty, not only physical problems, but also mental problems may occur. We learn how to live in our families.”
Urban life also affects the family as well
Having stated the effects of urban life on human, Architect Fehmi Bilge added “Istanbul is a city which became the heart of civilization and brought different cultures together. Effects of places and cities are very significant in the strengthening of the family”.
Having stated that “the greatest wisdom of human is the wisdom of building cities” Fehmi Bilge added “City also develops its own people. Cities build by human in order to organize his life are the heart of civilization. Cities reflect the soul of societies. The world is being gradually standardized. An individual who is obliged to live in a city which doesn’t place human at the center disappears, and human becomes objects. Having destroyed the consuming locality today, human exploits it to a maximum and are ambitious. Thus, city only signifies shelters, and the connection between the city and human weakens fully. As a city with an identity, Istanbul is under a great physical and sociological pressure. From a city life which had regard for the relationship between neighbors and provided organic street structures, privacy, sense of belonging and safety, we have gradually arrived at a much less pleasant situation. If you look at it for functional purposes, most of the house plans which exist at the moment will not result in a happy and peaceful society which has a sense of belonging.
The vicious circle of poverty must be broken
Demographer Dr. Dimiter Philipov of Wittgenstein Population and Global Human Capital Center stated “poor families cannot provide a good education to their children. They cannot have access to a better health service for themselves and their children. Other than this, another aspect of poverty is the fact that, children raised in poor families consider it normal”.
Having emphasized that children will also build their future with this perspective of poverty, Dr. Dimiter Philipov stated “In other words, poverty causes poverty. This is a vicious circle and it must be broken. The most significant policy is to provide education to the children of poor families. It is the duty of non-governmental organizations to encourage the families in this respect. The employment problem and exclusion are other causes of vulnerability. Higher education, health and employment opportunities especially for women are required in order to overcome them. Better human capital brings much more happiness”.
Family is the last shelter in a heartless world
Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Kemal Sayar from the Medical Faculty of Marmara University stated that family is qualified today as the last shelter in a heartless world. Kemal Sayar stated “We all have a duty in strengthening the family institution. Where the family union has become a mess, mental issues will follow. When a family member goes to psychiatrist, most of the time it is the wrong member who has come to the psychiatrist. However, those who have caused him to become sick and affect him adversely will not sit on that chair since they don’t see it appropriate for them. Pains of every family must be revealed and its wounds must be healed. Family therapy ensures confrontation. Ensures healing of that wound by mutual interactions. Blockage of communication within the family may cause the problem to become far more serious. There is a continuous interaction between mother, father and child. When one of these members have psychological issues, this will be reflected on all of them”.
Women are the most permanent connection between generations
Having specified that age discrimination is an issue which we are not addressing much today, Prof. Gunhild O. Hagestad from Agder University stated:
“When we looked at women’s lives, we can see very important milestones. When we look at the history of humanity, half of the population is at all times under the age of 15. In Norway and Japan, 60 percent of the population is above the age of 60. In many European countries, half of the children see all of their 4 grandparents living. Even people at the ages of 40 and 30 see 1 of their grandparent living. We saw in Norway that the oldest grandchild was 65 years old. Since women live longer, we see more women within the population. Women live approximately 6 years longer. Women constitute the most permanent connection between generations. The most permanent connection is between mother and daughter. “