Turkey: Disturbing Backslide in Women's Rights
Monday, February 24, 2020 1:55 PM

If Turkey’s ‘marry your rapist’ bill is passed it will be a major backslide in women’s rights. The bill provides amnesty for men convicted of statutory rape if they agree to marry the victim. This is not the first time Turkey has proposed such a bill. In 2016, a similar bill was withdrawn due to public outcry. The main purpose of this bill is to cover up femicide, intimate partner violence, and child marriage. A Turkish group, We Will Stop Femicide, collected data which highlights the disturbingly high numbers of femicides, partner violence, and child marriage within Turkey. It is not only Turkey that has these issues. There is a global increase of violence against women; while homicides are down worldwide, femicide numbers have risen. According to the World Health Organization 1/3 of women experience physical or sexual violence.

Women are not viewed as equal around the world and it is reflected in law. This is especially true when countries face economic and political insecurity. During these times, it is common for societies to return to conservative gender norms which force women back into being commodities for child birth and unpaid caregiving. Overall, women still experience exploitation, violence, and death in society. Legislation such as Turkey’s ‘marry your rapist’ bill legitimize violence against women and make it harder to combat.

Compilied from: Dennies, Kate, Turkey’s ‘marry your rapist’ bill is part of a disturbing global pattern, The Washington Post (January 29, 2020).