New law may pass on March 8 amid debates
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsParliament is gearing up to pass a draft law improving state protection and support for abused women March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day while debates on the bill continue to grow.
Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Şahin defended the bill over the weekend, while an opposition party lawmaker criticized the draft for failing to actually prevent violence against women. A report by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) meanwhile pointed out that the final draft was missing key regulations that had been included in earlier versions.
“We are launching a system that will protect a woman’s right to live and look after women who have been abused. We hope that we can give this gift to women before March 8th [International Women’s Day],” Şahin told reporters.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy leader Ruhsar Demirel, however, criticized the Justice Commission head for urging lawmakers to complete work on the draft before “the beautiful day [Women’s Day]” at a press conference last week.
“It is not a ‘beautiful day.’ A commission led by someone who does not know that March 8th was declared a day for women’s rights should not handle the issue of violence against women,” said Demirel, suggesting that the Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men be tasked with the responsibility instead.
“This law does not prevent violence. It only protects people who have been subject to violence. If they wanted to prevent violence, they would have started with education and creating social sensitivity,” she stated.
Demirel also said the draft had many shortcomings, and lawmakers were being asked to support a law that did not consider “gender, the legality of equality between sexes, education, and shelters.”
TÜSİAD, meanwhile, sent a six-page report to Parliament’s Justice Commission, where the draft is set to be discussed today, with critical suggestions to improve the bill, daily Akşam reported yesterday.
The report said the definition of violence should be updated to specify that it can take place in the social and public spheres, as well as the private sphere. Protective measures should be extended to include children, while psychological treatment should be necessary for everyone who abuses women, the report said. Shelters for women should also be mandatory for any city with a population over 50,000 according to the report.
TURKEY RANKS LOW IN WOMEN IN POLITICS
GENEVA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey ranks 88th out of 143 countries in the number of women in its Parliament, a recent United Nations report said. According to the Women in Politics 2012 global map, Rwanda ranked first on the list with 56.3 percent of lawmakers in its Parliament being women. While Andorra came in second with 50 percent, Cuba, Sweden, Seychelles and Finland followed closely behind.
Turkey, together with Chile and Gabon, is 88th with 14.2 percent of Parliament consisting of women. Turkish Parliament currently has 78 female MPs out of a total of 550. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Solomon Islands shared the bottom of the list with no women in their Parliaments.
According to the list there are only eight female presidents in the world.