Somalian Women Politicians are in Turkey
to Follow for Local Elections

26 February 2019, İstanbul

Within the framework of the cooperation protocol signed with the Hear Women Foundation working in Africa, 24 Somalian deputies and senators hosted by KADEM came to Turkey for 5 days in order to follow the election campaign.

On the first day of the program; “Women in Politics” discussed with the attendance of KADEM’s Vice President Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar, AK Party Istanbul Deputy and Turkish Group President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Dr. Ravza Kavakcı Kan and KADEM’s Foreign Affairs Director Sezen Güngör. The meeting began with a speech by Sezen Güngör, KADEM’s Foreign Relations Director, who informed the participants about the national and international activities and projects carried out by KADEM.

After Güngör’s speech, KADEM’s Vice President Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar continued. Bayraktar: “Are we able to exist in politics, which has assumed a masculine identity, as women or by continuing to maintain our identity as women? The world has had its fill of masculine language, of the masculine climate in politics, and of confrontational attitudes. A few women leaders in world history, particularly in the modern age, were able to make their presence felt only by doing politics the way men do. We, as KADEM, are against this. The first thing to do when we, as women, take part in politics is to refine the masculine approach and methods that are dominant in administration modalities through a female approach of governance. It is an ugly prejudice imposed on us that our faith is the biggest obstacle in front of women’s fundamental rights and freedoms. However, when you look at the history of early Islam, you see many women leaders in every sphere of life, be it law or medicine, commerce or the academy. All the women of the world have to fight in order to make their presence felt in politics and the public phere. We, as Muslim women, also have to fight the prejudices both on the inside and the outside.”

Later on, AK Party Istanbul Deputy and Turkish Group President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Dr. Ravza Kavakcı Kan started her speech by explaining her own political past. She talked about the changes in Turkish politics and recent history, and pointed out the active role of women in the election process. Kavakcı: “We canvassed our neighborhoods door to door. We shook hands with everyone. We met new people, and told them about ourselves and our cause. It will be a great advantage for you to touch people’s lives and explain yourself in this way in Somalia. We are responsible for the expedition, not victory. The important thing is how much you work and sincerely endeavor. The result is up to Allah.” Stating that the President has paved the way for the youth and women, Ravza Kavakcı Kan expressed her gratitude for the reduction of the election age to 18 and the increase in the number of women politicians in the Parliament.

After the “Women in Politics” session, Somalian women politicians who are visiting Turkey to follow the election campaigns, took a souvenir photo with KADEM’s Vice President Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar, Foreign Affairs Director Sezen Güngör and AK Party Deputy and Turkish Group President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Dr. Ravza Kavakcı Kan.

In the afternoon session of the program, 24 deputies and senators together with KADEM team had the opportunity to observe the electoral work carried out by AK Party Mayoral Candidate of Sancaktepe Şeyma Döğücü.

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