Women’s Labor and Employment Initiative (KEİG) Platform with 31 member women’s organization from 15 provinces evaluated the election manifestos for the elections on June 7 of four political parties in the parliament. The platform analyzed the election promises for women’s invisible labor, their participation to work force, discriminatory practices in the workplace, and social rights and HDP stands out as the only party that is promising in terms of gender equality.
Women’s unpaid labor within the household
The statement indicates that promises for women come forward thanks to women’s struggle. AKP and MHP see women in a domestic manner in the family, CHP emphasizes gender equality, and HDP aims a transformation in the male-dominated structure of the society in their manifestos.
The statement expressed that the burden of childcare that is seen as a responsibility of women is addressed with a perspective of harmonization of work and family life apart from HDP, and the promises of AKP and MHP are presented in a way not to disrupt the domestic responsibilities of women. CHP and HDP points out that society gives the responsibility of care to women, and no political party apart from HDP has promises to equally distribute the burden of domestic and care work to both men and women.
Vocational training and entrepreneurship in women’s employment
According to the statement of KEİG, manifestos generally aim the growth of vocational training and entrepreneurship to increase women’s employment. AKP and MHP encourage flexible working conditions for women and see entrepreneurship as a way to increase women’s employment. The statement noted that entrepreneurship in its current form is a problematic area for women and criticized it being presented as a good option without the establishment of necessary mechanisms. Moreover, AKP and MHP approach women’s employment within the context of the economic development of the country, while CHP and HDP emphasize women’s economic freedom.
According to the statement, CHP targets a qualified and secure increase in women’s employment, does not present entrepreneurship as the main activity, and makes various suggestions for changes in favor of women in vocational training. HDP promises full-time and secure employment of women and proposals for concrete and structural changes to make women’s invisible labor both in domestic and work life visible. Furthermore, HDP incorporates evaluations and demands of women’s organizations for the problems of domestic workers and seasonal agricultural women workers in their manifesto. CHP and HDP also promise to put an end to discrimination against women in workplace such as sexual harassment, mobbing, and low wages.
Social assistance secondarizes women in the household
The statement puts forward that AKP and MHP adopt an approach based on “neediness” for social rights and also remarks “Both manifestos aim to provide assistance on a basis of household rather than the individual and women’s traditional roles in the family are reinforced through the assistance. The statement maintains that Family Insurance payments promised by CHP will be payed to women and emphasizes that this contradicts the promise of economic freedom for women. HDP promises social assistance program that all citizens can benefit equally regardless of whether they are poor or not, instead of social assistance.
Women with disabilities and LGBTI individuals in the manifestos
In the last section of the statement, KEİG points out that only HDP mentions the problems of women with disabilities and has promises for them. Although the manifesto of CHP mentions individuals with disabilities, the differentiated problems of women with disabilities are not touched upon. MHP and AKP see individuals with disabilities as a “group in need of protection” and take the issue on the basis of social assistance.
According to the statement, LGBTI individuals are not mentioned in the manifestos of AKP and MHP, they are taken as “a problem of culture” in İstanbul and approached within the framework of fight against discrimination. HDP, which has promises to transform the male-dominated social structure throughout its manifesto, makes a more detailed evaluation under the title of “LGBTIs right to an equal and free life with dignity”.