Building peace in the minds of men and women

Maltepe University: New UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Culture

25 October 2019

Maltepe University in Istanbul, Turkey, recently joined the UNESCO Chairs Programme with a focus on the linkages between Gender Equality and Culture.

On 25 October 2019, Maltepe University organized a ceremony in Istanbul, moderated by Professor Hülya Şimga, UNESCO Chairholder. Ms Saniye Gülser Corat, UNESCO’s Director for Gender Equality delivered the keynote speech. The list of speakers also included Professor Ayşe Saktanber, Middle East Technical University, Head of Gender and Women Studies Department.

In her speech, Ms Corat highlighted the importance of not only countering violent extremism but also preventing it. She noted that “nobody is born hating others. Nobody is born thinking that some people are less valuable than others. While growing up, young men, and increasingly young women, learn to discriminate and even hate.”

She then stressed that in today’s  interconnected world, culture has the power to transform societies. Culture is who we are and what shapes our identity. However, distorted interpretations of culture, hatred and ignorance can lead to violent extremism.

UNESCO’s message is clear: we must teach young people commitment to equality, tolerance, respect and dialogue. We work to create an enabling environment to empower young women and men so that they can live up to their potential as positive change actors, while showing lasting, deep and humanist resistance to violence in order to maintain and rebuild sustainable peace and equality for all.

The UNESCO Chairs Programme involves more than 700 higher education and research institutions from all over the globe. It is aimed at improving inter-university cooperation at the world level and promoting knowledge sharing and academic solidarity among universities.

Please visit here for more information about UNESCO’s Chair and Networks on Gender Equality