There’s not even a single pledge for women at Erdoğan’s manifesto for elections but expects the women to shoulder the entire burden of the government.
A lot has been scribbled about Erdoğan’s “Covenant Manifesto”; let us take a look at what is said under the “women” section…
1- Asserting that “we have women awaiting a duty in work-life whose path we have paved through a fight against all kinds of discrimination,” he declares that “they have done everything that could be done for women.” Moreover, he asserts this as though it wasn’t he himself who said “A women who says she is employed abstains from motherhood. A woman who has refused to be a mother, who has given up putting her home together, no matter how successful professionally, she has something missing, is a half [women/person].”
There is no mention of the issues experienced by women but there is the claim that women will continue to face whatever they are currently facing. While women who are employed experience their motherhood with a guilty conscience due to their trimmed maternity and birth allowances, while they are forcibly made to leave their children to places where they can’t trust since what they earn is not enough for childcare, while they are constantly insulted by boss and managers and are sick and tired of being subjected to abuse and discrimination in workplaces, what is exactly expected? To put up with these conditions in the name of “duty”.
2- He states that “we will continue to support all women in all areas ranging from education and learning to employment, health and family.” Today there are more than 16 million women living in poverty in Turkey. 64% of employed women are not satisfied with their work conditions. 3 out of 10 women are in unregulated employment and a half of employed women will not have a pension. 1 million women since 2015 had to leave work because of childcare. Girls are forced away from formal education. Pre-school education has been condemned to the hands of religious sects. This is the table they will continue to paint. What then is expected? Sacrifice!…
3- “The abuse of women, violence and harassment; are crimes committed against humanity. We will continue with all our effort and initiative until we completely eradicate this disgrace from our country” he says… In the last 15 years, 6,546 women have been killed by those closest to them, with some while under governmental protection. More than 50% of these murders took place in the process of Martial law [OHAL], at a time when it was claimed that extraordinary “safety measures” were taken. Child abuse increased by 700% in the last decade; one out of every 4 rape cases heard at courts relates to children. Consider additionally that only 5% of sexual offences against children are revealed. Do recall the attempts at the Assembly not to prevent child abuse but to decrease the age of consent to 12 so that abuse is whitewashed through marriage. Expected is the shouldering of this terrifying tableau together.
4- He states that “we have trampled all traditions of the age of ignorance against women and will continue to do so too. We will continue with this struggle until such time when women have become individuals of this country and nation who have all kinds of rights equally.” It is as though it is not he himself who asserts at every opportunity that “you cannot bring women and men into the same position, this is against creation.” As the leader of the government who considers the life of women to be in the home, at the service of men and restricts it with the care of children, the ill and the aged, who paved the way for the early leaving of girls from education and child marriage, to preach about “making all women individuals who have who have all kinds of rights equally” are just hollow words.
5- “We have enabled Turkey to cross a great threshold by making our party’s women’s branches more active”, “we have considered the presence of our women in all fields of social life and decision-making structures as vital for our future and have taken steps in this direction,” it says. Yes, it is evident that they view the presence of women in these fields vital for their future; it is precisely due to this that “women who were not reasonable for them in these fields” were ‘forcibly’ removed from these fields. Tens of women MPs, council co-leader, women politicians are imprisoned. 11 women’s organisations were shut down due to Martial Law. Just as the way in which the government condemns women to a public life they have themselves designed with “defined limits, gendered character and that is divorced from life and is discriminatory,” through pink buses and pink shopping centres, it also describes the single condition for the presence of women in social and political life as “making the AKP women branches more active.”
Erdoğan states that “we are going to shoulder the burden with women at the historical juncture ahead of us…” There is not even a single pledge for women, but there is assigning of “duties” which demands all kinds of sacrifices from women and which expects the women to shoulder the entire burden of the government’s past and future. Furthermore, Erdoğan also wants to apportion the entire bill of all kinds of negative developments against himself to women before it even takes place, stating as he does that “We will shoulder the burden together.”
The unemployment of women, the work and life conditions they have been condemned to, concern and fears for the future of children show that women are the shackled slaves of this walking ship. Ask those who hear words of “sacrifice” without a pause from the husband at home, from the boss at work, from the one-man in politics; is anything left to shoulder this burden anymore?