GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY
SPECIAL SITTING ON 7 MARCH 2007 ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
During the sitting Minister of State Ms. Nimet ÇUBUKÇU and Ms. Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Member of the Turkish Delegation, Chairman of the Committee on Equal Opportunities For Women and Men and Contact Parliamentarian for the Council of Europe Campaign “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women”. Representatives from NGO’s were also present at the Sitting.
Minister of State Ms. Nimet ÇUBUKÇU said “since the declaration of 8 March as the international Women’s Day by the UN, international efforts to provide women with equal participation to economic, social and cultural life with men have been accelerated..
In terms of the efforts in Turkey, Articles 10, 41, 66 and 90 have been amended by Parliament as to provide that equality between women and men is guaranteed via legislation. Furthermore, Civil Code, Code on the Protection of the Family, setting up of Family Courts, Labour Code and the amended Penal Code covering the heaviest punishment in terms of struggle against so-called honor crimes can be added in the efforts put forward by Turkey in this respect. However, it is not easy to put this reality into practice. Representation of women in several fields such as politics, labour force is still below the expected level. Social development and social justice, one of the priorities of sustainable development, elimination of poverty can only be attained only if women equally participate in the economic and social development with men.
In terms of the recent measures she added the Training Project on the Role of the Police with regard to stop violence against women signed as a protocol between the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of State, Circular of the Prime Ministry charging the Ministry of State she is responsible from with the coordination of measures to be taken on violence against women and so-called honor crimes, Follow up committee on Violence Against Women initiated by the Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women, National Action Plan to cover legislative and institutional measures and to be finalized in 2007 with the cooperation of NGO’s, local authorities and universities. Expansion of Social Gender Equality Project of the Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women within the framework of Turkey-EU Financial Cooperation Program.
Ms. Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Member of the Turkish Delegation, Chairman of the Committee on Equal Opportunities For Women and Men and Contact Parliamentarian for the Council of Europe Campaign “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women” said “ founders of the Turkish Republic, particularly Great Leader Atatürk realized even at that time that the development of a country based on the status and efficiency of women in the society, the rights enjoyed by the Turkish women since 1926, the date when she was given the ward on parental and property right, abolition of polygamy, are the developments still unrealized for some parts of the world.
She also drew attention to the new amendments to the penal code which brought about heaviest penalty for honor crimes, added that sexual assault at work and marital sexual assault have been penalized, Law on the Protection of the Family of 1998, new law on local authorities requiring women’s shelter for local authorities over the population of 50 thousand.
She mentioned the campaign initiated in Madrid by the Council of Europe and that she was elected chairperson by the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, the Committee carrying out this campaign, the billposters about violence against women and the exhibition on women portraits in Parliament and other activities to be carried out in this domain for which she expected participation from parliamentarians.
She also raised the need to increase women participation in politics and the proportion of women in parliament.