KEİG Platform stated that the package announced by the Prime Minister Davutoğlu on January 8 aims not to increase women’s employment but to promote motherhood. The platform emphasized that the government did not take any steps to ensure gender equality but deepened gender inequality in the “heralded” packages so far.
KEİG Platform evaluated the Action Plan of Protection of Family and Dynamic Demographic Structure Program regarding the regulations related to work life of women, childcare, and the protection of family announced by the Prime Minister Davutoğlu on January 8.
At the end of December, Ayşenur İslam, the minister of family and social policies made a preliminary statement. The package was evaluated in terms of gender equality along with the statements of Prime Minister Davutoğlu and the minister of family and social policies Ayşenur İslam.
As it can be observed in the statements, one of the regulations in the package is for the promotion and growth of early childhood care and education. KEİG platform indicated that this regulations is made to promote the private sector and emphasized that private kindergartens should not substitute public kindergartens: “We defend the diversification of services in line with the needs of parents and children, but the priority has to be given to the public kindergartens which provide high-quality education complying with the international standards. In short, we are against private kindergartens as a substitute for public kindergartens.”
“Women are sacrificed for the ‘trend’ of protecting the population”
The statement indicated that women are encouraged to bear three to five children and that the aim of increasing women’s employment is not seen as a step to ensure gender equality. Although the package indicated that part-time women employees will receive full payment, KEİG emphasized that this practice is not realistic for women who work in private sector or informal women workers.
The platform stated that childcare regulations are made only for women without taking men into account and women’s employment is seen appropriate only provided that they fulfill their so-called primary responsibility of care. They emphasized that women are forced to work in flexible work hours in informal employment to fulfill this care.
The statement also emphasized that women’s primary duty is seen as motherhood within the context of this social policy based on the protection of family. Reminding the statement of the minister of health Müezzinoğlu related to “the need for women concentrating to the career of motherhood”, the platform indicated a new program is being implemented by ignoring the price the women will pay with applications like “birth credit”, “dowry money” and “gold for newborns”.
“The government deepens gender inequality”
KEİG emphasized that the proposed model of flexible, part-time working model to fulfill the domestic “duties” of women will not be sufficient for the duration for care considering the long working hours in Turkey. The platform announced that this situations forces women to informal domestic work and conditions without work security. The statement also indicated that by increasing women’s employment, it is a must to question its qualities, that the government does not consider this as a way to ensure gender equality and that government officials openly enunciate that they do not believe in gender equality.
KEİG remarked that dozens of packages that were announced so far did not include any regulations to change women’s position in the society and concluded as follows: “We have been crying out how to increase women’s employment in a fashion that erodes gender inequality and provides a life standard with dignity for many years now. We are full of the surprises of the packages of the government that ignores the facts we present and blocks its ears to the truth!”