Ursula von der Leyen Speaks Out Against Sexism Following Turkey Chair Snub

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Ursula von der Leyen Speaks Out Against Sexism Following Turkey Chair Snub

The first female President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said she was hurt by the 'sofagate' incident and vowed to continue fighting for women's rights.


The incident happened several weeks ago when von der Leyen entered a room to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan alongside EU Council President Charles Michel in Ankara, Turkey. While two chairs were left out for Michel and Erdogan, not one was left for von der Leyen, who had to sit awkwardly on a couch. The whole incident was caught on video and was widely circulated online.


Recently the President of the EC has spoken out saying:


"I am the first woman to be President of the European Commission. I am the President of the European Commission. And this is how I expected to be treated when visiting Turkey two weeks ago, like a Commission President, but I was not."


She added:


"I cannot find any justification for the way I was treated in the European Treaties. So, I have to conclude, it happened because I am a woman. Would this have happened if I had worn a suit and a tie? In the pictures of previous meetings, I did not see any shortage of chairs. But then again, I did not see any woman in these pictures, either. Because this is not about seating arrangements or protocol. This goes to the core of who we are. This goes to the values ​​our Union stands for. And this shows how far we still have to go before women are treated as equals."


In a tweet after the meeting, the President had said that such an incident showed how far we still had to go to obtain full equal rights for women. She tweeted:


"My visit to Turkey showed how far we still have to go before women are treated as equals. Always. Everywhere. My story made headlines. But there are so many stories of women, most of them far more serious, that go unobserved. We have to make sure these stories are also told!"



[h/t: BBC]

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Thinking Humanity: Ursula von der Leyen Speaks Out Against Sexism Following Turkey Chair Snub
Ursula von der Leyen Speaks Out Against Sexism Following Turkey Chair Snub
The first female President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said she was hurt by the 'sofagate' incident and vowed to continue fi
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