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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Highlights Ongoing Abuses against Kurdish Women in Turkey to UN CSW
Monday, 01 March 2010 06:25

From 1-12 March 2010, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will undertake a 15-year assessment of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as review the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly.

KHRP submitted a communication to the CSW detailing its concerns regarding the current status of Kurdish women in Turkey, who suffer double-discrimination on the account of their identities as women, but also as Kurds. Women across the Kurdish region experience a variety of gender-based abuses.  Some women are subject to physical and psychological violence in the home, and with a severe shortage of women’s shelters and other provisions and protections for victims of abuse, they have little hope of leaving their situations. Furthermore many women lack adequate access to education, employment and health services.  KHRP also found that women are often denied access to, or fair treatment within, the justice system.

Institutional restrictions on Kurdish language education lie at the heart of many of the barriers encountered by Kurdish women in accessing their rights. The inability to speak, read or write in Turkish are common amongst Kurdish women who have not attend school or were forced to leave at an early age.   As a result, these women experience considerable hurdles in all facets of their lives. Furthermore, as highlighted in KHRP’s recent trial observation report entitled, ‘The Trial of Kerem Çakan: The Turkish Judiciary and Honour Killings’,  women victims of both domestic and state abuses find that there is often unwillingness both within Kurdish communities and also on the part of the government, including police and judiciary, to effectively tackle gender-based violence.

‘Kurdish women in Turkey continue to experience severe discrimination in all spheres of daily social, economic and political life,’ said KHRP Managing Director Rachel Bernu. ‘On the eve of the 15-year review of the Beijing Declaration, we would like to highlight the ethnic dimension, which features so heavily in ongoing gender-based discrimination in Turkey and so greatly impedes the empowerment not only of Kurdish women, but of all its women citizens. Moreover, we implore the Turkish government and other relevant stakeholders to take the necessary steps to facilitate the advancement of every woman and to combat all forms of discrimination.’

A copy of KHRP’s submission to the CSW is available here from the KHRP website.