International Women’s Day in Turkey

© Serra Akcan /@NarPhotos Used by permission

© Serra Akcan /@NarPhotos Used by permission

I was planning to write a short blog today, noting that today, March 8, is International Women’s Day and perhaps drawing the readers attention to the on-going issue of violence against women in Turkey and Bill Jones’ recent blog on the shameful lack of shelters available to victims of domestic violence.

As Amnesty’s 2013 report on Turkey notes, there are “only 103 shelters for survivors of domestic violence, far below the number required by law.”

The problem is broad, however.  As a recent article in Today’s Zaman notes, Turkey rates abysmally in the Global Gender Gap Index.  Women’s representation as candidates for the major parties is also appalling:

The percentage of female candidates in the upcoming elections is 1 percent for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), 4 percent in the Republican People’s Party (CHP), 3 percent in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)…

Only the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has a significant number of women candidates (44.5 percent).

Erhan Arık/@NarPhotos Used by permission

Erhan Arık/@NarPhotos Used by permission

None of this is to be forgotten. But instead, I’d like to focus on the painful irony of events in Taksim Square, where a group seeking to call attention to violence against women were themselves forcibly evicted by Turkish police today.

We’ve got a long way to go.

Howard Eissenstat
St. Lawrence University

This entry was posted in Amnesty International, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Turkey, Women's Rights and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.