Women’s Rights in Turkey Found to Be Systematically Violated
Monday, July 26, 2004 1:40 PM

Turkey is making major reforms in the human rights field as part of its bid to join the European Union. However, according to Women’s E-News, “[T]he country’s traditions and conservatism are holding back women’s rights.”

In May, members of parliament blocked a constitutional amendment that would have allowed affirmative action in elections and government hiring. At the same time, a parliamentary committee preparing a draft law to reform the penal code has rejected demands that honor killings be defined as “aggravated homicide.” The draft bill also fails to explicitly outlaw virginity testing, a practice often used to determine whether a young woman has lost her virginity and her family’s “honor.”

In a recent report, Amnesty International points out that Turkey has systematically failed to protect the rights and lives of women. The report examines the cultural and religious characteristics that shape the perception of women’s rights in Turkey. It also analyses the efforts of local and international organizations to protect the rights of women.

Compiled from:

Women’s eNews Newsletter, “Turkey Doing Little to Protect Women’s Lives, 23 July 2004

Amnesty International Report, “Turkey: Women Confronting Family Violence,” 2 June 2004, AI INDEX: EUR 44/013/2004.