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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

Click to expand Image Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to continue…

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Prime Minister, Calling It Murder, Says He Will Offer New Restrictive Bill

(Istanbul) – Turkey should not attempt to ban or greatly restrict abortion, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statements have recently suggested. Erdoğan announced that he views abortion as murder and that his government is preparing legislation to…

Bill Enhances Protection for Victims, Penalties for Perpetrators

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s parliament should adopt a strong, comprehensive law to curb domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament is debating a draft bill and is likely to vote on March 7, 2012. The draft law would replace Turkey’s existing…

New Government’s Rights Commitment Should Match Foreign Policy Ambitions

(Istanbul) - The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government should put human rights reforms, starting with a new constitution, at the top of its agenda for its third term, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip…
Tweet As told by Gauri van Gulik, researcher and advocate, Women's Rights Division Unlike some of the other women I spoke with, Hamiyet was not injected with poison, thrown from the roof or stabbed by her husband. But her story seemed just as desperate…

Abolishing Women’s Ministry Harms Women’s Rights Efforts

(Istanbul) - The Turkish government's changes to the current Ministry for Women and Family is a step backward in its struggle to combat gender inequality and violence against women, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…

New European Convention Sets Out Stiff Measures to Fight Violence Against Women

(Istanbul) - European foreign affairs ministers gather this week in Istanbul to sign a ground-breaking new Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The treaty, open to all 47 countries of the…

Gaps in Law, Police Response, Put Urgently Needed Help Out of Reach

(Istanbul) - Turkey's flawed family violence protection system leaves women and girls across the country unprotected against domestic abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Life-saving protections, including court-issued protection…

 Loves You, He Beats You”
 Violence in Turkey and Access to Protection
 Selvi T.
 Law on the
 Protection of the Family
 from Protection
 Lack of
"He was a psy­chopath," Sabiha L. (not her real name) said of her estranged abu­sive hus­band. "He broke my bones, and I was lying in bed for two months. Even when I was in bed he threw things at me and said ter­ri­ble things. There was also sex­ual abuse…

Court Decision to Ban Headscarf Cannot Justify Murder

Today’s attack on judges at Turkey’s highest administrative court cannot be justified by opposition to Turkey’s ban on headscarves, Human Rights Watch said today. Judge Mustafa Yücel Özbilgin of the Second Chamber of the Council of State (administrative…
The European Court of Human Rights decision to uphold the Turkish government’s headscarf ban will deny thousands of women access to higher education and a professional life in Turkey, said Human Rights Watch today. Last Thursday, the court’s Grand…