Review of Turkey's Combined 4th and 5th Periodic Reports under CEDAW
Monday, April 4, 2005 10:30 AM

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recently produced concluding comments on the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports submitted by Turkey in January 2005.

The Committee praised Turkey for its amendment to the country’s Constitution. The Constitution now requires the state to ensure that women and men are treated equally. It also commended Turkey on its revision of another article of the Constitution, giving international conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, supremacy over all other national laws. The Committee was also pleased with the State’s enactment of a number of new laws that seek to promote gender equality and discourage discrimination, its initiative to increase compulsory basic education for girls, as well as its ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

In addition to its praises, the Committee expressed concern about a number of deficiencies in the system. For example, the Committee pointed out that Turkey’s Constitution failed to define discrimination of women. It suggested that such a definition be included to facilitate public awareness of the idea. In addition, the Committee expressed concern about the problem of violence against women in Turkey and suggested that the country make efforts to increase the number of shelters available to women as well as educate the public that such violence is morally and socially unacceptable. The deep rooted cultural stereotyping of women was also addressed. Concerned such stereotypes feed acceptability of violence such as “honour killings,” the Committee suggested that the Country focus on developing educational campaigns to promote more positive imaging of women.

Noting the under-representation of women and discrimination against women in political and public life, the Committee also recommended that the State take steps to ensure that women are employed in all sectors. Illiteracy remains a problem for women and girls. Therefore, the Committee also recommended that Turkey render basic and higher education more accessible to women and girls. The Committee also regretted the lack of information on diverse problems such as women asylum seekers in the country, the integration of a gender perspective in Turkey’s economic development, the number of women subjected to human trafficking each year, as well as the status of minority women in the country. The Committee encouraged Turkey to respond to such problems in its subsequent reports.

Please click here to read the Committee's concluding comments.

Compiled from: Concluding Comments: Turkey, CEDAW/c/2005/I/CRP.3/Add.8/rev.1, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Thirty-second session, 28 January 2005