Thursday, July 07, 2005

MEPs: Women's rights key to Turkey's EU bid

The European Parliament has called for positive discrimination for women in Turkey, stressing that respecting human rights is a 'sine qua non' for EU membership.

In a report of its own intiative adopted by 573 votes in favour, 19 against and 32 abstentions, the European Parliament told Turkey on 6 July that respecting human rights, including women's rights, is an absolutely indispensable condition for the country's EU membership.

One comment from MEPs was that ''women's rights and gender equality are embedded in the EU principles which Turkey has to accept if it is to join the EU". The Parliament voiced concern over the fact that for now women's involvement in Turkish politics is weak: only 4.4% of the country's MPs are women and at local level they account for only 1% of the representatives.

According to the MEPs' decision, women's rights in Turkey will be subject to annual monitoring.
The report also raised the issue of violence against women, calling on Ankara to provide them with appropriate protection, legal support and health care.

(Source: EurActiv)

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