The III. International Women and Justice Summit, jointly organized by KADEM and Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services was held in Cevahir Congress Center in Istanbul on 23-24 November 2018. The summit, honoured by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife Emine Erdoğan, addressed the topic of “Family Empowerment”.
A large number of academics, researchers, writers, bureaucrats, politicians, civil society representatives, journalists and volunteers from over twenty countries, as well as ministers and deputy ministers from nine countries participated in the summit.
Following the first day of the protocol speeches and session of leaders, the sessions discussed “Family Empowerment” as the main theme of the summit, were held on the second day. KADEM Talks was the last session of the summit.
The topics discussed in the sessions of the summit were; Threats and Opportunities in the Modern World, Towards a Better Work and Family Balance, Religion as the Binding Power of Family, The Impact of Media on Family Dynamics, Domestic Violence and Abuse as Threats to Family Unity, Impact of Conflicts and Poverty on Family.
The following points expresses the general remarks of the International Women and Justice Summit:
1. The family has been the most fundamental and the most important institution of social life throughout human history. The family gives us our personality, our belief, our identity and our main character. The family is the institution that enables the individual to socialize, thus pushing her/him into an actualized social entity. In this respect, the family has maintained its importance throughout history and will continue to protect it as long as social life continues.
2. One of the institutions that are most exposed to change in the modern period is the family. In modern society, the family has changed in terms of structure, relations and values. Kinship, neighbourhood relations and solidarity culture, which are strong in traditional society, are increasingly weakened by factors such as individualization, migration and urban concentration in modern society. Hence, policies for protecting family structure and developing strong family relations are more essential than ever.
3. Migration, terror, violence, disagreement, poverty, harmful habits and divorce lead to disruption of families all over the world. The disrupted family gives rise to deep trauma and destruction in the psychology of individuals and to depressions and dissolution in social life. Thus, policies aiming to ensure the unity and solidarity of the family are of great importance.
4. Uncontrolled and careless use of developments in media and communication technology has adverse effects on family members, especially children. However, numerous improvements related to technology and media can be used as an opportunity to reach new generations and to empower intergenerational relations. Rethinking of printed, visual and social media as a way to strengthen intra-family relations and to have a conscientious publishing policy is under our responsibility.
5. In addition to the policies developed by the state in the provision of family unity, intra- family relations are also important. The basis of family unity and happiness include values such as devotion, loyalty, sacrifice, tolerance, compassion and affection, as well as mutual love and respect. It is fundamental for spouses to look after each other on the basis of fairness and justice, for strong family ties and unity.
6. Religious and moral values play a highly functional role in ensuring family unity. Religion empowers family ties as well as strengthens the social structure that contributes to the establishment of relationships based on mutual love, respect, rights and responsibilities; development of social assistance and solidarity; maintaining values such as loyalty and fidelity. From this point of view, we consider it necessary to provide religious and spiritual support for the solution of family problems.
7. The inclusion of women in the labour force, social and political life should not be perceived as a threat to the structure and unity of the family. With the awareness that a strong woman means a strong family and a strong family constitutes a strong society. In all respects, policies should be developed to pave the way for work-family balance for women. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that family responsibility is not only assigned to women, but that men can be raised and socialized in a way that fulfills his responsibilities and pulls the weight of the family.
8. Violence against women is an attack against women’s rights, dignity and personality, as well as a sociological threat that disrupts the unity and structure of the family. We regard violence against women as a crime against humanity and we consider it necessary to fight it in all respects. We think that an overall fight against violence in an atmosphere of social and political mobilization is essential. In this regard, the political parties, the media and non-governmental organizations as well as the state should take on the responsibility.
9. One of the most important sociological phenomena that adversely affects the family structure is poverty. The problems in accessing health care and training services, financial difficulties, housing problems and malnutrition do not remain limited in domestic relations, but lead to considerable social problems, as well. Thus, social policies developed by the state in combating poverty are extremely important. In this respect, the improvements in Turkey within the last fifteen years are noteworthy. Turkey has come far in this respect.
10. The negative impact of war and conflict is primarily felt in the family. Displacing family members and wars lead to disruption in families. In this context, millions of Syrians are confronted with the most horrifying reality of war. We would like to
express our expectations of the international system and states that have the power to influence this system and to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria based on justice and equity.
11. It is of utmost importance that cities and residences are constructed in a way to meet the needs of family members, in order to enable them to live in humane and dignified conditions. Hence, in urban planning, family-friendly construction of streets, and construction of parks, gardens and sports infrastructure facilities are highly important to serve families.
12. As in various parts of the world, one of the major problems awaiting Turkey is nursing of the elderly. Today, elderly people mostly live together with their families, thanks to the support provided by the state, in addition to strong family and kinship ties. However, with the spread of sociological factors such as urbanization, migration, family disruption, individualization, and weakening of family and family relations; caring of the elderly has the potential to turn into a social problem. Therefore, maintaining of the policies in this respect is essential.
Respectfully announced to the public.