Violence Against Women Cannot Be Eradicated By Ignoring The Expertise and Experience of Women’s Organizations!

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Causes and consequences of violence against women and women killings (femicide) in Turkey have been voiced repeatedly by women’s organizations for many years. The Emergency Measures Coalition Against Femicide and Violence comprised of 124 women’s organization, has been demanding that the Turkish Parliament take urgent action against male violence resulting from patriarchy, inequalities in practice and everyday life, and all kinds of discrimination against women since July 2014. After years of struggle and calls to action (by the women’s movement) Parliament finally set up a commission called “Parliamentary Research Commission to Explore the Causes of Violence Against Women in order to Determine the Necessary Measures for Prevention.”

However, to our great dismay, the commission’s first steps have led to great disillusionment. The vast majority of independent women’s groups, who have been working relentless in the field of violence for years, were not invited and excluded from the meeting of NGOs planned to take place on 5th February 2015 in Ankara. Thus, the commission has made it clear from the start that it is only willing to work with NGOs who share the government’s political views, rather than working with organizations who have expertise in this field.

Why would the parliamentary commission of a country with record high levels of violence against women act in such a way? We see this as a strategy to trivialize and ignore women’s groups who have been fighting violence against women for years and have amassed great knowledge and experience in this sphere. In attempting to resolve such a mammoth problem, we would have expected commission members to cooperate with both independent and public women’s groups involved in running shelters and counseling centers, together with the many women’s organizations who make up the Shelters and Consultation Centers Convention in its 18th year.

We are faced with an alarming situation whereby the commission, consisting largely of ruling AKP parliamentarians, is ignoring calls to include these relevant organizations claiming it will later ask for written feedback. It seems the Turkish government and state is adding a new one to its existing failures and deficiencies in addressing violence against women. With the exception of a few NGOs working on violence they did invite, they are on the whole choosing to work with organizations, which are not well equipped on the subject. This is a clear indication of not only the AKP government’s authoritarian style of governance, which lacks tolerance for opinions other than its own, but also the lack of political will to formulate a successful and workable action plan to end violence against women.

We, the undersigned women’s organizations protest this attitude and invite the Turkish Government, Parliament and all involved political parties to rectify this fault. We ask the commission to issue a public statement about the criteria used in choosing the organizations with which to cooperate, and the reasons why such an anti-democratic process was employed. We also demand that the knowledge and expertise of women’s organizations which have been at the forefront of the struggle to eradicate violence against women for decades be urgently and meaningfully included in the commission’s work.  

1.     Adana Women’s Solidarity Center and Shelter Association – Adana Kadın Dayanışma Merkezi ve Sığınmaevi Derneği (AKDAM)

2.     Adıyaman Association of Women and Life – Adıyaman Kadın Yaşam Derneği (AKAYDER)

3.     Ankara Feminist Collective-Ankara Feminist Kolektif (AFK)

4.     Antalya Women’s Counselling and Solidarity Association – Antalya Kadın Danışma Merkezi ve Dayanışma Derneği

5.     Ataşehir Women’s City Council – Ataşehir Kent Konseyi Kadın Meclisi

6.     European Women’s Lobby Coordination Desk for Turkey- Avrupa Kadın Lobisi Türkiye Koordinasyonu

7.     Ayvalik Independent Women’s Initiative – Ayvalık Bağımsız Kadın İnisyatifi

8.     Independent Women’s Association – Bağımsız Kadın Derneği

9.     CEDAW Civil Society Executive Committee – CEDAW Sivil Toplum Yürütme Kurulu

10.  Association for Gender Equality Watch – Cinsiyet Eşitliği İzleme Derneği (CEİD)

11.  Çanakkale Association for the Utilization of Women’s Handicrafts – Çanakkale Kadın El Emeğini Değerlendirme Derneği (ELDER)

12.  Divriğili Womens Association – Divriğili Kadınlar Derneği

13.  Diyarbakir Grand Municipality Center for Research and Implementation of Women’s Issues – Diyarbakır Kadın Sorunlarını Araştırma ve Uygulama Merkezi (DİKASUM

14.  Disabled Women’s Association – Engelli Kadın Derneği

15.  Ergani Selis Women’s Association – Ergani Selis Kadın Derneği

16.  Association for Equal Life-Eşit Yaşam Derneği

17.  Equality Watch Women’s Group (EŞİTİZ) – Eşitlik İzleme Kadın Grubu

18.  Association for Life Equality – Eşit Yaşam Derneği

19.  Home-based Working Women’s Group – Ev Eksenli Çalışan Kadınlar Grubu

20.  Adana Housewives Association – Adana Ev Hanımları Derneği (EVKAD)

21.  Femin & Art International Women Artists Association – Femin & Art Uluslararası Kadın Sanatçılar Derneği (10 Branches)

22.  Rainbow Women’s Association – Gökkuşağı Kadın Derneği

23.  Women’s Coordination of People’s Democratic Party – Hakların Demokratik Partisi (HDP) Kadın Koordinasyonu

24.  Hurriyet campaign for End to Domestic Violence! – Hürriyet Aile İçi Şiddete Son! Kampanyası

25.  IRIS Watching Groups for Equality -İRİS Eşitlik Gözlem Grubu

26.  İstanbul Feminist Collective – Istanbul Feminist Kolektif (İFK)

27.  İstanbul Union of Women’s Organisations-İstanbul Kadın Kuruluşları Birliği

28.  İzmir Women’s Solidarity Association – İzmir Kadın Dayanışma Derneği

29.  The Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates – Kadın Adayları Destekleme Derneği, Ankara(KA-DER)

30.  Platform for Urgent Action Against Femicide – Kadın Cinayetlerine Karşı Acil Önlem Platformu

31.  Association for Women’s Studies – Kadın Çalışmaları Derneği

32.  Woman Solidarity Foundation – Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı

33.  The Association for Women’s Training and Employment – Kadın Eğitim ve İstihdam Derneği (KEİD)

34.  The Collective for Women’s Labour- Kadın Emeği Kolektifi

35.  Gender Equality Association – Kadın Erkek Eşitliği Derneği (KAZETEDER)

36.  Women’s Party – Kadın Partisi

37.  Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways (WWHR) – Kadının İnsan Hakları -Yeni Çözümler Derneği (KİH-YÇ)

38.  Women’s Solidarity Foundation – Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı (KADAV)

39.  Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association – Kaos Gey ve Lezbiyen Kültürel Araştırmalar ve Dayanışma Derneği (Kaos-GL)

40.  Cappadocia Women’s Solidarity Association – Kapadokya Kadın Dayanışma Derneği

41.  Black Sea Women’s Solidarity Association – Karadeniz Kadın Dayanışma Derneği (KarKad-Der)

42.  Kardelen Women’s Centre – Kardelen Kadın Merkezi

43.  Independent Women’s Gazette – Bağımsız Kadın Gazetesi (KAZETE)

44.  The Initiative for Women’s Labour and Employment-Kadın Emeği ve İstihdamı Girişimi (KEİG)

45.  Women from Trade Union of Public Workers – Kamu Emekçileri Sendikası’ndan (KESK) Kadınlar

46.  Red Pepper Association – Kırmızı Biber Derneği

47.  Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association – Kırmızı Şemsiye Cinsel Sağlık ve İnsan Hakları Derneği

48.  Koza Women’s Association – Koza Kadın Derneği

49.  Lambdaİstanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association – Lambdaİstanbul LGBTİ Dayanışma Derneği

50.  The Association for Women Cooperation from Mardin – Mardin Mardin Ortak Kadın İşbirliği Derneği

51.  The Association for LGBT 7 Colours Training and Research from Mersin– Mersin LGBT 7 Renk Eğitim ve Araştırma Derneği

52.  Purple Roof Women’s Shelter Foundation – Mor Çatı Kadın Sığınağı Vakfı

53.  Mor Salkım Women’s Solidarity Association – Mor Salkım Kadın Dayanışma Derneği

54.  Muş Women’s Roof – Muş Kadın Çatısı

55.  Muş Women’s Association – Muş Kadın Derneği (MUKADDER)

56.  Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association – Pembe Hayat LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği

57.  Petrol-İş Trade Union Women’s Magazine – Petrol-İş Sendikası Kadın Dergisi

58.  Selis Women’s Association – Selis Kadın Derneği

59.  Women Without Borders – Sınır Tanımayan Kadınlar

60.  Sosyalist Feminist Collective (SFK)- Sosyalist Feminst Kolektif

61.  Association for the Study of Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation – Sosyal Politikalar Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği (SPoD LGBTİ)

62.  The Union of Turkish Women-Türk Kadınlar Birliği

63.  TMMOB Women’s Working Group of İzmir – TMMOB İzmir Kadın Çalışma Grubu

64.  The Association for Turkish Women University Graduates – Türk Üniversiteli Kadınlar Derneği

65.  Flying Broom Women Communication and Research Association-Uçan Süpürge Kadın İletişim ve Araştırma Derneği

66.  Van Women’s Association – Van Kadın Derneği

67.  The Association for Women’s Solidarity and Home for Life -Yaşam Evi Kadın Dayanışma Derneği

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