Target: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Goal: Stand up for equality and denounce a head of state for his statement that women are inferior
During a recent international conference on justice and rights for women, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that women should not be considered as equal to men. He made several inflammatory remarks against women’s equality, such as his statement that pregnancy is a hindrance to women’s equal opportunity for holding a career. The remarks that President Erdogan made were utterly disgraceful and aggravating to most of the people who heard his words and for advocates of the feminist movement in Turkey, who are working to overturn this type of derogatory view on women.
Turkey is low-ranking on the gender equality scale, ranking 125th out of 142 countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report of 2014. Women in this country are often discouraged from numerous aspects of society, such as holding steady careers and driving.
Some of the statements that the president made at the international conference were to have Turkish women bear at least three children, to limit cesarean sections, and to abolish most abortions. The Turkish president also believes that feminism is an impediment to the idea of motherhood for women. President Erdogan justifies his view of unequal rights for women by saying, “It is against her nature — because her nature is different, her bodily constitution is different.”
In response to the president’s anti-feminist remarks, women’s rights activists turned to social media sources to notify the public about the president’s unequal perspective on women’s rights and to garner responses from the public.The anti-feminist remarks by the President of Turkey were utterly unbelievable, especially given how far women’s rights have progressed in this country. Please sign the petition below to denounce President Erdogan’s statements and to reflect the injustice of his viewpoints on women’s rights.
Dear President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Hearing about the president of a country denouncing the equality of women, especially at a conference on justice and rights for women, was just abhorrent. The anti-feminist remarks that you made at the international conference, such as the notion that women should focus on motherhood and on bearing kids, take away freedom from women. Proponents of the women’s rights movements have toiled long and hard for their rights in Turkey, and the statements you made were simply backwards and may lead in a bad direction.
Please work to create equality between men and women in Turkey by expanding the rights of women in your country. The right to decide to have kids or not, to hold a job, is a right and not a societal or political standard. As human beings, both men and women should have the right in deciding how they wish to live their lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons