Women With No Cash Cannot Become Candidates

KADER said women could not apply to become candidates at local elections because they are asked to pay huge sums of money. It called on political parties to have special rules for women and not ask for money.

The General Board of Directors of the Association to Support and Educate Women Candidates (KADER), said women were not able to apply to become candidates in local elections because high sums of money are required during the application process.

KADER called on the political parties to comply with the "Agreement to Prevent All Kinds of Discrimination Against Women," Turkey has signed. KADER said women should be supported through special rules.

KADER called on the political parties to "allocate one thirds of their municipality candidature to women; and to place women higher up on the candidate lists of municipal elections."

KADER wants political parties to place at least one woman among the first three names on the list, two women among the first five and three women among the first seven. The association also called on political parties not to ask for money from women candidate candidates.

"Women do not apply for candidacy-they can't"

In a written statement, KADER said:

* Many women who come to KADER say they are required to pay a high amount of money to apply for candidacy in local elections. They cannot apply for candidacy because they do not have the money.

* A high number of women, who are ready to serve the people, are not able to do so because they do not have the money. And those who have some money do not want to give it to political parties because they know their names will not be placed high enough on the list to be elected.

* This situation is blocking democracy. Asking for thousands of dollars from women for candidacy applications and then saying "women will not become candidates," casts a shadow on local elections.

Women in local administrations is one percent

* In Turkey women and men do not start the candidacy race under equal circumstances. We live in a country where 84 percent of ownership belongs to men, where women get 20-50 percent less in salaries compared to men no matter if they are CEOs or factory workers.

* We do not think it is fair for political parties that get millions of dollars in aid from the state, to ask for high sums of money from women who apply for candidacy. We are protesting this.

* Women only have a percent of representation in local administrations. Turkey is among the last on the list worldwide for women representation. The local elections of March 28 will be an important opportunity to change this situation and end discrimination against women in local politics. (BB/EA/NM)

İstanbul - BÄ°A News Center

20 January 2004, Tuesday