Fighting for Women’s Rights in Turkey

In a number of Turkish cities and even in the Turkish Parliament, Turkish women danced in protest against violence against women in the international “One Billion Women Rising Movement” this Valentine’s Day.

The tenacity and frequency of violence against women in Turkey has been an on-going concern of human rights groups.  Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have highlighted the weakness of government efforts to stem the problem.

Meanwhile, Voice of America has reported on the efforts of women’s groups in Turkey to protect abortion rights.

Amnesty International has voiced its concern that Prime Minister Erdogan’s personal opposition to abortion might endanger the rights of women in Turkey.   As noted on the main, Human Rights Now blog, in 2012, Prime Minister Erdogan pushed his disdain for abortion rights to the center of the agenda, despite the fact that Turkey has signed numerous international agreements which protect “human rights linked to women’s ability to decide if, when, with whom, and how often to become mothers.”

Prime Minister Erdogan has famously said that he believes every Turkish woman should have at least three children.  Let us hope he doesn’t plan to require it.

– Howard Eissenstat


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