Pictured with me are several participants in the World Affairs Council International Visitor Leadership Program, who visited my office last Tuesday. The women in tphoto traveled from Turkey under a State Department program to grow new leaders and make friends internationally We discussed our experiences as women in politics, and the visitors learned more about Oregon's election process. Ms. Semiha Ekinci is Provincial Vice President of the Sivas Province, and the only woman on the 45-member Sivas City Council (which sure puts my role as the 7th woman on our Council in 162 years in perspective). Ms. Gulnihal Gurel is Provincial President of the Women Auxiliary in Antalya Province. Ms. Behiye Koparal is Provincial Vice President of Antalya Province, and Ms. Ilknur Ustun is a Policy Officer in Ankara.
I asked Semiha why there is only one woman on her Council, given that the political parties have recognized that there should be more women in leadership roles in Turkey. She smiled and said, "The men have to give up their places." Different continents, same challenge.