Women members of Roj Women took to the streets of their communities in London on Sunday 25th November, International Day of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to raise awareness around violence endured by women, particularly by Kurdish women, as a result of gender and honor-based violence as well as of conflict, in the domestic and public spheres.
Archive for the ‘Political Activism’ Category
Seventeen years ago, on 28 May 1995, a group of mostly women from different age groups met in Galatasaray Square, in the central Taksim area of Istanbul and sat down in front of the Galatasaray School. They were holding pictures of mostly men, from different age groups. On the picture the name of the man and a word which was to become known also to foreigners, kayip, disappeared. (more…)
New report sheds light on the multiple attacks women human rights defenders suffer at the hands of Turkish state actors in Kurdish regions of Turkey.
“You are a woman and we can shame you”
“Guys, open your eyes, these women are not here to protest against rape, they are asking for it”
These threats were made by police officers in the cities of Siirt and Mardin, correspondingly, to women who were at that moment engaging in the defense of women, ethnic and minority rights in 2011.
Roj Women’s Association has long campaigned to improve the lives of women in Kurdish regions and communities. Our aim is to further their rights and to expand the opportunities available to them by drawing attention to the factors that shape their struggle and by advocating for the necessary changes to overcome them. One of our strategies is to support the work of women who engage in peaceful defense of rights and political activism and we are increasingly concerned about the treatment these women receive at the hands of the Turkish State, particularly at the hands of policemen, village guards, soldiers and other security forces members.
Years ago campaigning to support women human rights defenders focused on sexual and physical attacks experienced by women activists at the hands of Turkish security forces; however, the last report was produced in 2003. Aware of the lack of up to date information in this regard a research delegation organized by Roj Women set off in 2011 to assess progress and to produce an updated analysis of the risks and challenges that women human rights defenders endure in Kurdish regions of Turkey.
The resulting report, ‘A woman’s struggle: Using gender lenses to understand the plight of women human rights defenders in Kurdish regions of Turkey, is based on the testimonies of 30 women from six cities across South East Turkey: Diyarbakir, Van, Hakkari, Batman, Siirt and Mardin. The researchers observed a shift towards psychological attacks by security forces against women human rights defenders but not a reduction in their quantity and sexualized nature. The risks are indeed gendered and capitalize on prevalent honor-based and patriarchal social norms.
In her preliminary report based on a visit to Turkey in October, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers urged for the effective independence and impartiality of judges, prosecutors and lawyers and an accelerated implementation of these reforms.
Source:United Nations Human Rights.
The Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, visited Turkey from 10 to 14 October 2011 at the invitation of the Government and included Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakir. Her preliminary report was now also published in Turkish. (more…)
They carried the banner saying “Perpetrators are known, where are the disappeared people,” in front of Galatasaray High School, in the center of Taksim and Istanbul as well. (more…)
Hatice Harman is on trial because she held up a photograph of her daughter who died as the result of a hunger strike. “She is my daughter. If I don’t carry her picture in my hand, I will carry it in my heart”, Harman said.
“I am carrying the picture of my daughter in my heart and I will carry it in my heart in the future. Nobody can take that away from me”.
This is what Hatice Harman said whose daughter died as the result of a hunger strike in 2002. Harman is now on trial because she carried a photograph of her daughter in a demonstration on the International Women’s Day on 8 March. (more…)
For the first time, the European Court of Human Rights sentenced Turkey for a breach of Article 9 on freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Applicant Erçep’s lawyer Alsancak said the verdict manifested the right to conscientious objection in Turkey.
On Tuesday (22 November), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the conditions of shortened military service through payment. Males 30 years of age or older will soon be entitled to apply for paid military service. They will have to pay TL 30,000 (€13,000) and will not receive basic military training. (more…)
Posted in Crimes against humanity, Gender violence, Political Activism, Violence against women, Violence against women Turkey, women's rights Turkey, tagged Andrea Wolf, German Sociologist on September 14, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
A mass grave found in a cave in the district of Çatak (south-eastern Kurdish-majority city of Van) is supposed to contain the remains of German sociologist Andrea Wolf among a total of about 40 bodies. An investigation revealed that the people buried in the mass grave were killed with bullets.
This was the first investigation about the Çatak mass grave. Sami Görendağı, Branch Secretary of the Human Rights Association (İHD), was part of the delegation and talked to bianet about what they encountered in the cave. (more…)
Posted in Gender violence, Kurdish women, Political Activism, Violence against women, women's rights Turkey, tagged cizre, Diyarbakir, Istanbul, The Women Initiative for Peace on September 13, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
The Women Initiative for Peace has organized a meeting at 6pm in Taksim Square in İstanbul to protest against the government position and the current deadlock in the Kurdish problem. Spokesperson of Initiative, Nebile Irmak Çetin, emphasized that many women, including writers, intellectuals and performers from different cities and ethnic background, will sit in the square for peace until midnight. Irmak also indicated that the government budget needs to be spent for public health, education and social-security instead of war. (more…)