Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
CNN: Domestic violence is on the rise in Turkey, as over 42 percent of women reported being the victim of physical and/or sexual abuse by their partners. Lack of comprehensive laws, shelters for women add to the problem--often putting the women back in the hands of their abusers.
"In fact, according to a 2009 Turkish government report, 42 percent of women surveyed said they had been the victims of either physical or sexual abuse by their husband or partner. The report concluded that one in four married Turkish women had been injured by partner violence. Meanwhile, one in ten Turkish women were injured by such violence while pregnant.
Some Turkish activists fear the real statistics for violence against women may actually be much higher.
"In all domestic surveys there are 'shadow figures.' That is because women are not willing to tell about the violence, it's a very sensitive issue," says Pinar Ilkkaracan, a co-founder of the Istanbul-based group Women for Women's Human Rights.
"We think it's much higher than 42 percent."
Domestic violence against women is not confined to economically-depressed, rural regions of eastern Turkey. According to the Turkish government survey, the statistics for physical and sexual assault were roughly the same in the countryside as in the most developed, fast-growing cities in the western part of the country.
Over the past 15 years, Turkey has adopted several progressive pieces of legislation to protect women, including a 1998 Protection Order against Domestic Violence. Reform of Turkey's Civil Code in 2001 gave women legal equal status to men in the family.
Meanwhile, changes to the country's Penal Code in 2004 criminalized marital rape. But critics argue that the Turkish state has lapsed far behind in implementing these laws."
Lucinda Marshall is the Director of the Feminist Peace Network (FPN) which she founded in December, 2001 as a virtual ‘room of our own’ where women concerned about how the impending U.S. invasion of Afghanistan (and later Iraq) would impact women’s lives could share their thoughts and ideas for action in a safe, supportive space. While initially focusing on militarism, the network, with participants from around the world, has expanded its vision to also address what Marshall calls the other terrorism, the systemic global pandemic of violence against women.
NCRW asked leading research and policy expert Linda Tarr-Whelan to weigh in on the status of CEDAW. In addition to her responses, below is an excerpt from a previously published commentary from Linda featured on Women’s eNEws and The Huffington Post.
On Dec. 18, 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, making it a watershed day for women around the globe.
In those heady days, I was deputy assistant to President Jimmy Carter for women's concerns. We expected speedy action after he sent the treaty to the Senate.
New York Times: The Violence Against Women Act will now cover same sex couples. The Justice Department has concluded that the law may be used in same sex cases involving stalking and domestic violence.
Reuters: Children of mothers who are abused by their partners are at an increased risk for obesity and developing health related conditions, such a diabetes, cancer and heart disease. New studies show that adversities early in life create long lasting emotional and health issues.
New York Times: Eight women interviewed by the The New York Times shared the trauma they endured when members of the New York City Police Department "played down, misclassified or ignored their complaints of being sexually assaulted."
From Newsweek: Two new studies show that contrary to popular stereotypes, that it is often young men who are forcing or tricking their partners into getting pregnant. The goal of "reproductive coercion" is for abusive partners attempt to exert control over their partner, which may include forced unprotected intercourse, or sabotaging of birth control. The women who then became pregnant were often bullied, hit and forced to either have an abortion or have a baby against their will.