WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT ALL OUR LIFE. AND WE HAVE TO BE VIGOROUS.

“We face every single day and in all over the world, gender base violence, gender related killings, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence… the list is long. Knowing that women’s rights are never to be taken granted and always questioned and postponed with several excuses like political, economic, religious crises. We must remain vigilent all our life. And we have to be vigorous.”
Presented by Fatma AYTAÇ, Red Pepper Association (Kırmızı Biber Derneği)
Co-Founder and UN-Representative


Presented at the Peace, Women, Security and Secularism Event at
The Salvation Army Intl. Social Justice Commission, New York City
On April 11, 2019
Led by The Light Millennium
Associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications


Thank you Bircan Ünver and The Light Millenium for organization and everyone who contributed to the event. 

First I want to speak about first Sustainable Development Goal SDG#5 which is Gender Equality. While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

My humble message regarding today:

We face every single day and in all over the world, gender base violence, gender related killings, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence… the list is long. Knowing that women’s rights are never to be taken granted and always questioned and postponed with several excuses like political, economic, religious crises. We must remain vigilent all our life. And we have to be vigorous.

Then I want to talk about my NGO (Non-government Organization) named Red Pepper Association (Kırmızı Biber Derneği), which was established in 2011 with the purpose of gender equality.

The name is coming from a metaphor “put red/hot pepper to your mouth” which is a punishment method in Turkey for naughty children.  But we use it for men especially politicians who talk about women in humiliating way.

The Association is implementing projects in gender equality area for women and girls to empower them on their journey to decision making positions, and for children in respective area in order to start awareness from very young ages.  A striking project was implemented, called Cotton Candy (Keten Helva) between 2013-2014. A set of trainings were given to children ages between 4-6 years old on gender equality and protecting their body from abuse and harassment.  The training was done in public and private preschools.  And it was a pioneer project, applied for the first time in preschools.    A gender neutral puppet was used to give the training and gender equality messages given to the children, with cartoons and books.

We measured the impact of the training thru pre and after tests.   The improvement was shocking. Responses of the children regarding gender roles before and after training was 180 different.  More important success of the project was to have gender equality defenders among children, each of them became a loyal and strong defenders of gender equality. 

If you want to have more information you can access to our web site <www.kirmizibiberdernegi.org>.

KETEN HELVA – PUPPET

About Fatma AYTAÇ, Red Pepper Association (Kırmızı Biber Dernegi
Co-founder and UN-Representative Graduated from Bosphorus University Industrial Engineering in 1982.  Worked as an industrial engineer for 25 years in the private sector, 15 years as IT Manager, and last 5 years as CIO of a Turkish conglomerate.

Kırmızı Biber Derneği – Red Pepper Association

The Association was established in 2011, headquarter is in Istanbul. It is UN ECOSOC accredited with consultative status since 2017. The purpose of Kirmizi Biber Dernegi is to work for gender equality, increase the awareness of equal representation of women in politics and all decision making positions. Starting from families, empowering women for equal rights and responsibilities, closing the inequality gap and achieving tangible results for the whole society, contribute democracy in this way as well as increasing civic consciousness.

One of the projects which have been implemented by the Association is called Keten Helva Projesi (the Cotton Candy Project), with three main goals: to teach children to recognize gender inequality and child abuse, to give them the skills to avoid them, and to encourage them to report abuse that they have experienced, are experiencing, or may experience in the future.

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Event photo credit: Demet DEMIRKAYA, The Light Millennium

Photo Album of the Multi-Participatory Session on:
Peace and Women and Security, and Secularism – 2

http://www.lightmillennium.org/gallery1/index.php/Peace-and-Women-and-Security-and-Secularism-2

UNSCR 1325 & Secularism Event Concept Note: WE AIM TO BRING BACK THE “SECULARISM” CONCEPT INTO THE DISCUSSION IN CORRELATION WITH THE UNSCR 1325 AND SDGs TO THE UN GROUND
http://www.turkishlibrary.us/concept-note%EF%BB%BF-peace-women-security-secularism/

"The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum For Friendship and Peace" project joined, and has been produced under the umbrealla of The Light Millennium Organization effective on October 15, 2015.