The release of a major report in January regarding women rights in Turkey upset many people when they learned 42% of Turkish women have been victims of physical or sexual violence by a male relative at least once in their lives. Moreover, the vast majority of women have victims of psychological abuse. Nebahat Akkoc, founder of the Diyarbakir based Women’s Consultation and Solidarity Center, (KAMER) is optimist because recent changes in Turkish law relating to women’s rights more or less meet standards of the European Union. However, despite this step forward, “although these rights exist on paper now, they are still waiting for more decisive implementation.” In a sense, the laws now run ahead of society’s acceptance of what should be rights for women.
KAMER has ventured into the economic sphere and assists women to start up their own business enterprise. The organization also conducts workshops to raise awareness for women on their legal rights since many do not know of recent changes in the Penal Code.
Perhaps, if the Turkish government were to establish an economic incentive program for budding female entrepreneurs, it might help spark a growth in female rights.