Women of the World Festival İstanbul
Moderated by Burcu Karakaş, the second panel of the festival, titled Invisible Face of the City, focuses on domestic life and hosts Aksu Bora, Gülhan Benli, Hacer Foggo and Saima Mir. Domestic abuse, which saw a worldwide increase with the COVID-19 pandemic and described as a “shadow pandemic”, the unequal division of domestic work, and the rarely spoken deep poverty are the main focus of this panel.
Burcu Karakaş moderatörlüğünde Aksu Bora, Gülhan Benli, Hacer Foggo, Saima Mir ile Şehrin Görünmeyen Yüzü başlıklı ikinci panelinde, ev içi yaşam odağa alınıyor. COVID-19 pandemisi ile birlikte tüm dünyada artışa geçen ve “gölge pandemi” olarak nitelendirilen aile içi şiddet ve ev içi emeğin dengesiz bölünmesi ile nadiren konuşulan derin yoksulluk, bu panelin temel odakları.
Aksu Bora: After graduating from the Department of Economics at Ankara University Faculty of Political Science, Aksu Bora got her MA and PhD in anthropology at Hacettepe University. She is among the co-founders and editors of Amargi Feminist Magazine and Ayizi Publishing House. Bora is the author of Kadınların Sınıfı (Class of Women, 2005), Feminizm Kendi Arasında (Feminism Among Itself, 2011) and İradenin İyimserliği (The Optimism of Will, 2015). She is also a co-author on 1990’larda Türkiye’de Feminizm (Feminism in Turkey in the ’90s, 2002), Yoksulluk Halleri (States of Poverty, 2002), Sıcak Aile Ortamı (Warm Family Atmosphere, 2005), Cumhuriyet’te Çocuktular (Children of the Republic, 2007), Boşuna mı Okuduk? (Did We Study For Nothing?, 2011) and Ütopyalar (Utopias, 2018). Aksu Bora has many articles and translations published in various books and magazines. She retired from Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication in 2007. Gülhan Benli: Gülhan Benli migrated from Amasya to Istanbul in her 20’s, to continue her education. Here, she both worked and studied in open high school. The unsecured and unhealthy work environment, directed her to fight for her rights. Her individual struggle strengthened with the participation of colleagues working under similar conditions and set the ground for the Domestic Workers Solidarity Association Initiative. The association was dissolved to make way for a more rights-oriented organization. The Domestic Workers Solidarity Union was founded in 2011. Benli is the president of the union. Hacer Foggo: Hacer Foggo has worked for 16 years as a reporter with various newspapers and magazines, focusing mainly on human rights issues. Since 2003, she has been working on the problems of Roma people through different civil society organizations; pioneering the establishment of social activity centers for children and women. She has been an activist in the Roma neighborhoods of Sulukule, Küçükbakkalköy, and Kağıthane, where the habitants were displaced due to urban transformation projects. Foggo is currently working for the European Roma Rights Center as the Turkey Human Rights Observer. She was selected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2015. Foggo founded Çimenev Science and Arts Center, where children can study and participate in activities after school, in 2016. The center offers free education for nearly 90 children and 50 mothers. The Deep Poverty Network that she established during the pandemic, ensured that more than 2000 families who could not access food were provided for. Foggo has also published the history book “Kırmızı Püskül”. Saima Mir: Saima Mir is an award-winning journalist. A former BBC journalist, she is a recipient of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s WorldView Award and has written for numerous publications including The Times and The Independent. Saima’s essay for the Picador book “It’s Not About The Burqa” appeared in Guardian Weekend and received over 250,000 hits over two days. Her work was also featured in “The Best Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly About Motherhood”.
A mother-of-three boys, her debut novel “The Khan” is out on April 1st published by Point Blank.