Hülya Güler - ISTANBUL
Cansen Başaran Symes, the president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD). AA Photo
Turkey’s top business organization has outlined the steps which need to be taken by workplaces to fight violence against women in a book.
The book stressed that violence against women still posed a major problem both in Turkey and abroad, regardless of “excuses” people have often pointed to such as low education and income levels.
“That is a very good resource on the fight against violence against women,” said Cansen Başaran Symes, the president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD).
Symes stressed the need for gender equality in society and that violence against women was “a true violation of human rights,” noting violence against women harmed their access success in business and productivity.
“More companies should add the principle of ‘societal gender equality’ to their, I am underscoring this, lifetime business roadmap, without question. I am calling on all representatives in the spectrum of business to endorse this ideal. We have to create an environment where women are not exposed to violence and will be able to live in peace,” Symes said.
The first book on violence against women addressing business organizations, the “Book for Development and Implementation of Workplace Policies in Fighting Domestic Violence Against Women” was introduced in an Istanbul meeting on Dec. 14, which was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) and Sabancı University.
“Some 75 percent of white-collar women - mostly college graduates - have been exposed to domestic violence at least once. Around 40 percent of men committed violent acts against their female partners,” the book said, based on the results of a survey conducted with 1,715 employed women working at 20 separate business organizations in a report summary, stressing the negative impacts of violence against women on economic sustainability.
The book noted 16 percent of women were not able to end their relationships with their male partners who committed violent acts against them for economic reasons.
Among those who participated in the launch of the book were UNFPA Turkey representative Karl Kulessa and Women and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu.
Ramazanoğlu stressed the need to develop a unified message against violence against women.
“We started a new era to protect the family as well as to fight violence against women. A ‘zero tolerance’ principle has been endorsed and the economic and social status of women has been consolidated with the changes in the constitution. The penalties against perpetrators of sexual and physical violence against women have been guaranteed by law. We closely watch statistics in this matter. We will take whatever steps we see necessary,” Ramazanoğlu said.