Turkish President declares women are not equals

Around the time most of us were celebrating equal rights for women on the International Day for the elimination of Violence against women, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at an international conference on justice and rights for women, stated that women shouldn’t be regarded as equals because pregnancies would always be an obstacle in the way of workplace equality.


Erdogan said, “You cannot make women work in every job that a man works at, as in Communist regimes. Give her a shovel and make her work- This cannot be. It would primarily be against her delicate nature.” He also condemned feminists for rejecting motherhood adding that pregnancy and motherhood are sacred in Islam and some forms of work were unsuitable for women.


The New York Times reported Ozlem Dalkiran, a Turkish advocate of Gender equality, saying: “There is an apparent effort in changes made to the labour law to lock women indoors, and we should be aware of Erdogan’s constant threat to us. What he misses, though, is that the women’s rights movement in Turkey is a very strong one and his provocative statements are making us stronger.”


[Picture Courtesy: Wikiface]

The Turkish President stated that women need justice more than they need equality and received a loud applause from the audience, which included a conservative NGO, Women and Democracy Association, that had organized the event. It is interesting to note that Turkey ranked 125th on the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, 11 positions below India.


When he was a Prime Minister of Turkey, he often urged the women in his country to have a least three children and discourage cesarean deliveries, as he believed it prevented women from having more children. He also succeeded in abolishing most abortions, according to a report by The New York Times.