Icel Soroptimist Club’s forming the “Mersin Virtual Women Museum” online platform which can be accessible from the website (www.mersinkadinmuzesi.com) in the internet from all around the world is an asset valuable not only for Mersin but for Turkey, and especially for the women.
Before emphasizing the purposes and the importance of Mersin Virtual Women Museum, the numerous contributions of Icel Soroptimist Club to Mersin should be underlined. The Club which was established in 1970 and which has been serving in Mersin for forty-five years, in line with the Soroptimist principles – has done myriad efforts in the fields of education and health for the women and the maidens in the region to attain better status in society. With Mersin Virtual Women Museum, it is undoubted that they can reach their activities to wider masses.
Mersin Virtual Women Museum aims at carrying its activities by synthesizing the past and the today. And it plans to present these; through notifying culture and art activities, by publishing articles, by organizing conversations and by preparing online exhibitions. It will be a successful example regarding providing financial support for the women; by the online marketing of the products which are related to women labor, on the museum website.
In 2008, women museums started to be a network worldwide, for the first time. Thus, the women museums in various countries had the opportunity to exchange ideas, to carry out mutual projects, to support one another and to continue awareness campaigns for the establishment of new women museums. In 2012, with the establishment of International Association for Women Museums (IAWM); projects have been developed towards the goal of creating societies which have awareness for the women history, culture, women problems and gender rights. That such a museum was established in Mersin will be an outlet window for Mersin and the women. Hence, there is a very important opportunity to make “the voice of the women in Mersin and Turkey” be heard, to make exchange of ideas at international level and to lead some activities.
When seen at an international level, the mutual goal of women museums is to work towards the recognition of women rights, and democratic societies to be formed without gender discrimination. In this manner, the women who were leaders, who were involved in politics; who were pioneers in science and art – are the best examples. On the other hand, platforms like this are significant for countries like Turkey which still has many shortcomings in education field and remembering the existence of women in such societies and providing opportunities to them is important. Moreover, it will be a very important difference that Mersin Virtual Women Museum will create; by emphasizing not only merging of the women who could not be educated and those who were well-educated; but also getting support from men for mutual projects for this platform who believe in equality of men and women and who know that greatest development in society happens through collective production.
Firstly, it is a very valuable initiative in Mersin which had been a city of multi-culture, since past to today; with the trade and the migration, which necessitates it a social analysis – enable analysis of the women’s status. The value of this project of Icel Soroptimist Club should be known.
Initially, I believe in the fact that “everyone who knows Mersin, who live in Mersin or who love it” – will support this initiative and I congratulate the president of Icel Soroptimist Club and everyone who has contributed the project.
Prof. Dr. Serra DURUGONUL(Mersin University Archaeology Department Academic Member)