Turkey (CEDAW 12-07-2022)
The Committee considered the eighth periodic report of Türkiye (CEDAW/C/TUR/8) at its 1882nd and 1884th meetings (see CEDAW/C/SR.1882 and 1884), held on 14 and 15 June 2022. The list of issues and questions raised by the pre-sessional working group is contained in CEDAW/C/TUR/Q/8, and the responses of Türkiye are contained in CEDAW/C/TUR/RQ/8.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Equal participation in political and public life
- The Committee notes with concern:
(a) The persistence of structural barriers to participation in political and public, including discriminatory gender stereotypes, faced by women, in particular Kurdish women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and intersex women as well as women with disabilities;
- Recalling its general recommendation No. 23 (1997) on women in political and public life, as well as target 5.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt temporary special measures, such as statutory quotas and a gender parity system, in line with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, to ensure the equal representation of women, in particular women belonging to ethnic minorities and women with disabilities, at the decision-making level, in the Grand National Assembly, provincial and municipal legislative bodies, the Government, the civil service and the foreign service, in particular at decision-making levels;
Women human rights defenders and journalists
- The Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party that the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly are guaranteed under the Constitution. It is, however, concerned that article 314 of the Penal Code and article 7 of the Anti-Terror Law relating to leaders and members of armed organisations are applied to convict women human rights defenders and sentence them to lengthy prison sentences. It is also concerned that women human rights defenders and activists, including those advocating for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, and women journalists are often subjected to arrest, physical assault, threats, intimidation, harassment, and the freezing of assets. It also notes with concern reports indicating that civil society organizations are facing violence, harassment, and legal repression for allegedly “acting against the law and against morality”.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that women human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists can freely carry out their legitimate activities and create an enabling environment for them to advocate for women’s human rights;;
(b) Prevent discrimination against women human rights defenders, activists and journalists, ensure their protection from violence and intimidation, investigate, and prosecute and punish all abuses against them, including by public officials;
(c) Amend provisions that restrict the civic space and funding for civil society organizations, including women’s organizations, for allegedly “acting against the law and against morality”.
- The Committee notes with concern that, according to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap 2021 Report, the State party ranks 140 among 156 countries in relation to women’s participation in the economy and equal opportunities, The Committee further notes with concern:
(e) The lack of measures to address sexual harassment in the workplace, especially of young women and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, including the low number of investigations in sexual harassment cases.
- In line with target 8.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals on the promotion of full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men and recalling its previous recommendation (CEDAW/C/TUR/CO/7, para. 46), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(f) Ratify the Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183), the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), and the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), of the International Labour Organization.