The President Of The European Commission, On The ‘Sofagate’: "I Was Treated Like That For Being a Woman, I Felt Lonely And Humiliated"

It was the mandate of the European geopolitical Commission, but the image of the European Union in Ankara could not have been more fragile. It was the mandate of the Europe team, but the attitude of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, could not have been more endogamous. It was the mandate of the EU with more women in their command posts, but the macho protocol of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, placed the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a subordinate place with the passivity of who it had to be his accomplice, President Michel.

“I have expressed my regret on several occasions for the situation that was generated with the president of the European Commission and all those who have been offended,” said the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, this Monday before the plenary session of the European Parliament , where a string of criticism has been received from all the groups: “I know that some consider that I should have acted differently. But I did not do it so as not to create a political incident that could have ruined months of work” .

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And as a gesture towards women, he stated: “I am willing to accept the proposal for a summit on gender equality.”

The president of the European Commission, for her part, made a fiery speech about the Sofagate incident: “I am the first woman to be president of the European Commission, and this is how I expected to be treated on our visit to Turkey. a president of the European Commission. But I was not treated like that, there is no justification. I was treated that way because I was a woman. What would have happened if I had worn a suit and tie? Surely the women here have had similar experiences. I felt humiliated and alone, as a woman and a European. It affects us at the heart of who we are, our values ​​and how far we have to go so that women are treated equally. “

Von der Leyen, in any case, acknowledged that, despite everything, she is in “a privileged position as a leader, but what about the millions of women who are not in that position, without the power or the position to raise their When I arrived there were cameras, and thanks to that the video went viral, no subtitles or translation were needed. The images spoke for themselves, but there are much more serious incidents that do not come to light because nobody pays attention to them. We have to make sure that these kinds of stories are also told and there are actions. ”

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