İlksen and Ece

By Women’s Voices Now

Without the help of these passionate, reliable, and talented individuals, our global tour experience in Istanbul would not have been as fruitful, interesting, and exciting. Special thanks goes to İlksen Bostancı and Ece Budak for all of their support, assistance, and planning of the last leg of the WVN 2013 Global Tour.

In the many conversations that took place in between and on the way to meetings, İlksen and Ece were extremely generous in sharing their experiences as women in Turkey, and helping us understand the complex, multi-layered socio-political, religious, secular identities – either chosen or placed upon them and their compatriots by family, society, and the nation.

Through this experience of open and honest sharing, the vehicle of Women’s Voices Now truly functions to build networks between activist women who are striving for women’s rights. When we cross the divides that the media, politics, and distance may place between us, we get a glimpse of the incredible power of women to articulate the kind of world in which we hope to build around us and articulate ways that we may be able to get there, most importantly, together. Please meet two new friends of Women’s Voices Now:

İlksen Bostancı

My name is İlksen. I live in Turkey and I am studying at Marmara University in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. I got involved in Women’s Voices Now through a friend of mine, Şevin (WVN Global Tour Coordinator), and I am really glad to be involved. Being a woman in a patriarchal society made me more sensitive about women’s issues. My desire is to raise women’s voices against social norms and taboos, because traditional norms limit women from reaching their potential in the society we live in. With organizations like WVN, I hope we can work together to express exactly what women feel when they’re repressed and how they become unable to show their full potential with the obstacles of patriarchal societies, and to show, without the boundaries around women, how creative we are.

Ece Budak

Ece Budak is a visual artist completing her master’s degree at Sabancı University, where she also teaches drawing, welding, and modern art history. She works in many mediums, most recently ink, clay, and metal. Being raised in both Canada and Turkey has given Ece a simultaneously insider/outsider perspective which is the foundation for her research in areas such as addiction, women’s issues, and urban transformation. She has worked in collaboration with independent art spaces and women’s organizations to realize her projects in Istanbul, Bursa, and Toronto. She has worked on shows at Siemens, IKSV, Haliç Congress Center, Toronto School of Art, and guided VIP groups at the Bienale and Contemporary Istanbul. She always seeks to initiate creative group activities that utilize play and participation as a medium for new social re-imagining.

Visit Ece’s website:, where you can read about her involvement in the Gezi Park Protests that took place in May-July 2013.