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Urgent Call for Help to Women Leaders

The ‘Young Muslim Women Summit’, organized by the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF), which works for 600 million young people aged 18-35 in 56 countries that are members of the organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) under the theme of ‘Women as a rising force of the 21st Century’, has started online. Yavuz Selim Kıran, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Linda Rama, economist and spouse to Albanian Prime Minister, and ICYF President Taha Ayhan attended the opening ceremony of the summit within the framework of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum on the first day. Deputy Foreign Minister Kıran, in his opening speech, said that the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities around the world, and some restrictions that come with the pandemic have increased the burden on women. “We need female leaders to lend a helping hand to end the deprivation and suffering of women,” he added, noting that women in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia and other regions affected by armed conflicts need urgent humanitarian assistance. He also mentioned that more than half of the beneficiaries of Turkey’s humanitarian programs for Syrian refugees are women.

Taha Ayhan: Women during the pandemic have exemplified great leadership

ICYF President Taha Ayhan said that women have demonstrated a great example of leadership in management, diplomacy, social and political change during the pandemic. “We are all witnessing incredible female role models. Today’s women continue to pave the way for so many other women, men and children to become true leaders of the future,” he said. Despite these extraordinary achievements, the complex problems and challenges that young women face on the way to achieving their goals and living a better life cannot be ignored, Ayhan added,

“Empowering young women and female leadership candidates to make sustainable development goals a reality is our top priority. We need more concerted efforts to place, support and encourage women leaders,” he said.

“Özlem Türeci as an example” from Linda Rama

Speaking at the summit moderated by Ayça Aydogdu, Linda Rama, the wife of the Albanian Prime Minister, said that during the epidemic, women employees in schools, hospitals and many areas of Public Service made great sacrifices and performed their duties as heroes. Linda Rama, who stated that the world will always remember the women who were on the front lines during the epidemic period said, “Özlem Türeci, who saved millions of lives with the vaccine she found, is the best example of this”.  “Women are the most important elements that shape the societies they are in, both as mothers and workers,” said Rama, who stressed that women must strive for a better world.

Women leadership was discussed

Following the opening speeches, Emine Dzheppar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Merve Kavakci, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Kuala Lumpur,             Aisha Yesufu, Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, and Melek El Nimer, founder of the Unite Lebanon Youth Project discussed the topic ‘women’s leadership in a highly competitive world after Covid’.

After the event, young composer and pianist Büşra Kayıkçı played a short composition to participants from all over the world. The summit, which will continue online for two more days  will welcome successful Muslim women who have made firsts around the world. The summit can be followed online on all  ICYF’s social media accounts.

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