Knoxville's first female mayor will soon travel to Turkey to help encourage more women to get involved in politics there.
Mayor Madeline Rogero's week-long itinerary will include meetings with Turkish municipal officials in cities that include the capital, Ankara. Nongovernmental organizations and other groups are encouraging women to become more politically active in Turkey, a country that ranked poorly on that measure in a 2010 World Economic Forum survey. Women make up a very small percentage of elected officials there.
“I am honored by this invitation, and I look forward to meeting a wide range of officials and citizens in Turkey to talk about and encourage civic engagement,” a statement from Rogero read. “This is an important issue all across the world. Women have made some progress here in the United States, but we are still underrepresented at most levels of government.”
Mayor Rogero is also expected to check in with Tennessee military personnel stationed in Turkey.
Rogero will depart Knoxville on January 27 and return on February 2, according to a release from the mayor's office. Her trip comes at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State.