Turkey ranks 105th out of 153 countries in regard of safety of women

Turkish police carried out operations to detain 12 members and executives of the Elazig-based Harput Active Women Association, which was earlier shuttered by the government over alleged links with Gülen movement.

Turkey has ranked 105th out of 153 countries according to a global index released by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The index, which listed the safest countries for women in the world and was released at the United Nations (UN), said that 40 percent of women are subjected to violence in Turkey.

The index identified Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen as the least safe places for women, both in and out of the home. Iceland, Norway, and Sweden lead the 30 countries that score in the top third on all indicators. Turkey is listed as 105th safest country for women. One of the worst in its developing countries class, the index showed grave inequalities between men and women.

“This unevenness is captured in Turkey’s performance on the WPS Index. Its overall ranking of 105 is 54 places below its income rank and partly reflects low female employment rates and a share of women in parliament standing at 15 percent. Legal discrimination and deep-seated norms appear to be major constraints” the report read.

The index also shows that about 40 percent of women in Turkey are subjected to physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime. The report also quoted Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks about gender equality: “President Erdogan has declared that men and women are not equal and that believing so goes against nature. A number of politicians reinforce the view that women’s role in society is that of traditional homemaker and mother.”

The index ranks 153 countries across 11 indicators, encapsulating more than 98 percent of the world’s population.

The index was launched a day before the UN Security Council holds its annual open debate on women, peace, and security. Backed with funding from Norway, the index will be updated every two years and will track progress leading up to the UN high-level political forum in 2019, when the Sustainable Development Goals will next undergo a formal review.

In 2020, the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security will mark its 20th anniversary. The resolution recognizes conflict’s disproportionate impact on women and girls, and calls for the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in emergency and conflict settings, as well as for increased participation of women during times of post-conflict and peacebuilding.

More than 17,000 women in Turkey, many with small children, have been jailed in an unprecedented crackdown and subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention centers and prisons as part of the government’s systematic campaign of intimidation and persecution of critics and opponents, a report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear released in April by Stockholm Centre for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.

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