State designated as ‘responsible’ for women’s safety

State designated as ‘responsible’ for women’s safety

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
State designated as ‘responsible’ for women’s safety

Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Şahin had announced May 20 that a total of 666 women were killed as a result of domestic violence between the years 2009 and 2012. DHA photo

A sub-commission of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission has drafted a new article that would designate the state as the responsible body for preventing all manners of violence and mistreatment of women but failed to reach agreement on further measures to reduce gender equality.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) proposed that the expression “It is the state’s responsibility to abolish practices and laws stemming from cultural and societal prejudices based on the superiority of one gender” be added to the article, but the proposal was rejected. 

Still, the sub-commission added a clause which intends to grant women equal access to posts gained through election, professional positions, as well as social responsibility duties as a part of the principle of equality. Similarly, the state will take specific precautions to enable equal opportunities for children, the elderly, people with disabilities, widows and orphans of fallen soldiers, as well as war veterans.

Meanwhile, the CHP and the BDP proposed that ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity be recognized as social differentiations that cannot be subjected to discrimination, but the move was opposed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). 

The sub-commission can draft an article with the consent of at least three parties – albeit it with a note saying “partial agreement” – but it cannot do so if only two parties agree. Articles drafted by the sub-commission must still go before the full commission.