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In 2014 we see women carry a wide spectrum of responsibilities that range from the noble role of motherhood to community, professional and national leadership.  And yet many women also continue to struggle for a good quality of life and equality all around the world.  Today it’s important to remember past struggles and achievements performed by female leaders in each society and take an example of assuming leadership for the future of our little women today as well as to teach them to do so for generations to come.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was honored to attend a concert in memory of Dr. King at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC.  We sang our hearts out during this concert; the music was so wonderful and meaningful.  Listen here to “If I had a hammer” if you are not familiar with the song.  But I was most affected by the speech of an African American professional woman who said that she was there today because of Dr. King’s leadership and the efforts of others.  She was able to go to school, learn read and write, go to college and become a TV anchor obviously full of passion for her job.  And this concert had been organized for students.  Majority of the audience were students.  I felt that she taught all these young minds of a fluent Internet age how hard work had to go into rights we may be taking for granted today.  The loss of these rights can pave the way to new struggle, pain and even loss of lives.

Women in every country have different struggles.  I would like to dedicate my post today to Turkish women as a new milestone is coming up with elections on March 30, 2014.  Current issues for Turkish women can be summarized as professional equality in status and pay, access to schooling as well as working, domestic violence which has increased significantly in the past ten years and societal pressures.  Turkish women need to remember fellow women who have made sacrifices to advance the role and quality of life of women and Atatürk whose leadership enabled women to vote and be elected to office in the early years of the Turkish Republic.  They need to remember how fellow women made and continue making sacrifices in other countries to do the same.  They need to acknowledge women in more challenging circumstances and how quickly these circumstances can evolve if not pre-empted.

Here’s a popular song by Safiye Ayla, one of my favorite female Turkish Classical Music performers: Katibim

And here’s the same song performed by Fazıl Say, a contemporary Turkish pianist: Katibim  as well as Fazıl Say performing with a Turkish girl who sings about a 7 year old girl who died in Hiroshima: Nazım Oratorio

Cheers to all the beautiful and strong women, and the great men who support them all around the world!

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