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Turkey: Female platform to fight a moustached constitution

Feminist associations are fighting to remove a contradictory article from the Turkish constitution that defines them as "weak" and endorses inequality between the sexes

di Asli Kayabal

Many Turkish feminist associations have, for several decades, been pushing for their rights to be acknowledged ? first and foremost that of equality between men and women. It is in these days that 86 associations are protesting and asking for full equality between the sexes to be formally recognised. They criticise the newest draft of the constitution as in Article 9 women are described as ?needy of protection?. In a press conference held in Istanbul they also presented a Platform of women for the constitution.

In particular, Turkish feminists are asking that Article 9 be removed as it identifies them as being the weaker sex . They do, on the other hand, support Article 10 as it claims that ?women and men have the same rights?. They are therefore asking the Prime Minister, Tayyip Erogan, to only introduce the latter of the two, also because Articles 9 and 10 are clearly contradictory.

The Turkish feminist movement has voiced their opinion that if the government insists on including Article 9 the constitution would not only be unacceptable but would also not be aligned with how the constitution is actually implemented, at least in big metropolitan cities. Further, it was likely to excuse the difficult situation that women often have to face due to social and family norms and behaviour that are still today found in south-eastern rural areas.

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