Vice-Chairperson of the Board of KADEM, Mrs. Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar attended the international conference “Marriage: Formation and Constituents of Stability” held by Doha International Family Institute, as a speaker at the high-level session “Loneliness and Community”, on February 24, 2021.
In the session, where KADEM’s Vice-Chairperson Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar and Vice-Chairperson & CEO of Qatar Foundation Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani were speakers, themes such as the positive and negative aspects of loneliness, reasons of being and feeling alone in the modern world, the role and solution of marriage for loneliness, and the support mechanisms in family and support networks in the society were discussed.
In this context, Bayraktar’s assessment of the Women’s Rights Movement, which is considered among the reasons for isolation in the society, drew attention during the conference. Addressing the issue as a phenomenon that results in the participation of more women in education and the business world and provides many gains for women and social justice, Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar highlighted: “More women in education and the workforce which usually means less fertility. I do see the fall of fertility as a problem, but I also see women’s lack of representation as a problem. So to my understanding, if there is something to blame for the fall on fertility, it cannot be only on the women, it should be on the system that separated family sharply from work, making it difficult for people to work and care for the family at the same time, and the system where men are taken completely out of the family chores. If there is something to blame, it should be on the mentality that still cannot grasp how important and how natural it actually is for women to be represented in decision-making mechanisms. So the real solution here is to find ways to create family-friendly work environments, family-friendly urbanization, and family-friendly men. Once we work for these, then we can see a light of hope to increase fertility rates and more resilient families and hopefully less living alone.”
Moreover, loneliness is more than just feeling sad or being alone. It is a sense of disconnect and isolation with devastating effects on both mental and physical health. Bayraktar stated about this issue with these words: “All of these reasons (urbanization, modernity, nuclear families etc.) are not direct causes of loneliness. For example, some aspects of modernity, such as communications and trade, may lift some people out of loneliness. And the other way around; some people can feel very lonely even though they do not live alone. This brings us to other causes of loneliness; other than being alone. Weakness in communication, repressive environments, mental breakdowns.”
Finally, for the question of “How can new parents nurture a strong sense of belonging in their children?” Bayraktar offered concrete solutions for parents with real-life examples.
Find the record of the high – level session here: