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Turkey: Violence against women worse than racism

02-11-2012

Istanbul, (Hürriyet Daily News):

Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin says discrimination against women is worse than racism adding that action taken against those who commit violence against women has spread. Meanwhile, a group of female activists staged a demonstration as Şahin speaks

Discrimination against women is worse than racism, Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said yesterday during an event on the issue in Istanbul.

“We have attached the utmost importance to making sure that all citizens of the Turkish Republic equally benefit from their [rights of] citizenship regardless of their religion, language, gender or sect. This is how we see the women’s rights issue. This is how we have made our international strategies. Just like our prime minister said, discrimination against women is worse than racism.

“We made this our motto and followed it in practice,” Fatma Şahin said, adding that action taken against those who commit violence against women had spread and become a shared approach, particularly among those holding decision-making positions.

Şahin made the comments at a meeting at the Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel yesterday to mark the 30th Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Turkey (CEDAW).

Asked about a case in which prosecutors were seeking a life sentence and attempted murder charges against a 19-year-old boy who used force against his girlfriend, Şahin said the claims and the sentence requested were the prerogative of the trial’s prosecutor.

“We have to receive it with due respect to the independence of the judiciary. But of course we will track the development of the case,” she said.

A group of female activists staged a demonstration in front of the hotel where Şahin spoke. Gathering before the hotel entrance, women from the Istanbul Feminist Collective held a protest demanding the abolition of reductions in sentences for murderers of women and better equality between the sexes.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Öznur Subaşı said women suffered all kinds of discrimination.

Noting Turkey’s low ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap 2012 report, Subaşı said the ministry should provide funds for female divorcees rather than attempting to prevent divorces.

“The Family and Social Policies Ministry cannot not hide its misogynist policies with this CEDAW meeting it is hosting,” Subaşı said.


http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/violence-against-women-worse-than-racism-family-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=33766&NewsCatID=339

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