On 28 June, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and Professor Umran İnan, President of Koç University, signed a partnership agreement. The ceremony took place in the presence of Ms. Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı, Director of Koç University Center for Gender Studies, Professor Hülya Durudoğan from Koç University, Ms Esra Doğan, Deputy Permanent delegation of Turkey to UNESCO and UNESCO Director for Gender Equality Mrs. Saniye Gülser Corat.
“Gender studies allow to raise awareness of societies across the world to central issues that are key to development,” declare Irina Bokova.
The agreement between UNESCO and the Center for Gender Studies at Koç University aims at developing national and regional training programmes on gender equality for decision makers. Under the programme, training will also be provided to senior-level management at the University and companies within the Koç Group.
The overall aim is to improve the knowledge and understanding of decision-makers on gender equality issues, and to ensure women acquire leadership skills and advance gender equality in education, science, culture, communication and information.
“Societies which do not engage women fully in its development are entering the fight with one hand in the back,” declared Professor Umran İnan, President of Koç University. The Director of Koç University Center for Gender Studies referred to the focus of the Centre for Gender studies at the University indicating its main objective is to inform and impact upon public policies.
UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, stated that “overcoming gender inequalities in all facets of life is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. UNESCO is committed to promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in all UNESCO domains. I welcome this new Partnership which will allow us to join forces with a leading higher learning institution in Turkey to make further inroads in promoting gender equality and empowering women.”