"Equality of men and women is the most fundamental criterion of a democratic, contemporary country. Replacing the current State Ministry for Women and Family Affairs by a Ministry for Family Affairs and Social Politics is a step backwards for equality of men and women and for democracy", said lawyer Nazan Moroğlu. Moroğlu is the Co-ordinator of the Association of Women Organizations in Istanbul and the President of the Association of Turkish Women at Universities.
"Women organizations have been struggling for women rights for many years, but only determined state policies can provide progress of women rights".
"Unless women are being considered as individuals and as long as their protection remains exiguous, we cannot talk about gender equality and real democracy. This initiative must be stopped in the name of democracy, the state of law and women human rights", Moroğlu criticized.
"Women face problems not only within the family"
Moroğlu reminded the fact that women in Turkey are discriminated in the fields of access to education, work life and participation in political life. Women are not included in decision making processes, she continued. "Locking up women in the structure of a Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Politics would mean to ignore all problems beyond family life".
The lawyer drew attention to the Constitutional draft bill that came up after the elections in 2007 and, on Moroğlu's account, did not individually and equally consider "temporary workers in the agricultural sector, individuals without education, children, the elderly, disabled people and sections who are most openly facing the risk of poverty". This way it found entry in Article 9 of the draft bill and was reason for fierce criticism from women organizations, Moroğlu recalled.
Government was authorized on 3 May
With the corresponding law enforced on 3 May 2011, the government was given the authority for Decree Laws (KHK) on a new distribution between ministries of public services, closing down existing ministries and establishing new ones.
The full title of Law No. 6223 reads as follows: "Authorization Act Related to Issues Regarding the Organization of Public Enterprises and Institutions, Functions, Powers and Public Services to Provide a Regular, Effective and Efficient Execution of Public Services".
It was reported that based on the law the government was planning to close down eight state ministries and establish eleven new ones.
According to the media, some ministries will be closed completely, some will be split or their structure is going to change. The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs is supposed to be abolished and to be replaced by the Ministry for Family Affairs and Social Politics. The new ministry will encompass women, family affairs, the disabled and social aid under a single roof.
The ministry is going to deal with the problems of temporary workers in the agricultural sector, individuals without education, children, the elderly, disabled people and sections of the society that are most openly facing the risk of poverty. Public aid worth TL 15 billion (€ 7.5 billion) will not come from seven different institutions but will be provided by a single organization. Seven separate units will merge with the provincial organizations. (BB/VK)