Women’s election declaration

Women met in Istanbul to present their elections declaration

The Women Initiative ‘Bir Arada’ gathered at the Abbasağa Park in Beşiktaş (Istanbul) where it organized a forum. 

On the field were the forum was held, banners were hanged reading: “Change with women, we can change" and  “Take male power hands away from our bodies”. 

Before the Forum, Ayşe Berktay, a member of the Women's Initiative, spoke. Underlining that women get together always, and not just for the elections, Berktay reminded the participants that “being a woman in Turkey, means struggle”.

Berktay added: “Every government worked for its political aims, material interests and power; however they all had one thing in common. They speak men language for men! While we struggle against male sovereignty, discrimination, violence and inequalities, they have worked to preserve all these”.

Berktay emphasized that the 16 years rule by the AKP represented the most difficult period for women. The AKP, she noted, wanted a say in everything concerning women: from how women dress to how many children they should have, from what they believe in to how we behave. In other words, as Berkley strongly put it, “the AKP has occupied women’s lives”. An usurpation so strong that women lost contact which each other. “We could not hear one another - said Berktay - because if we could we would realize how much our hopes and wishes are similar. We all want to live in a peaceful country, where we do not see violence”. 

Stating that women want cities where they can walk safely without being troubled, Berktay mentioned the inequalities experienced by women.

After Berktay's speech, the women were accompanied by songs from the BEKSAV. 

Eda Cansu, of the Women Alone Initiative, read the women’s election declaration. “We don’t see women only in the house, within the family. We will therefore give our vote to the political party that has a concrete program for gender equality, which sees women as equal individuals against the powers that define women only within the family”. 

Cansu continued: “Our vote will go to the party that opens the way for equal representation, including decision-making mechanisms. A party which is not only worried to get seats for men in the Assembly but for women too, through co-presidency and consensus”.

Cansu added: “We will vote for the party that advocate for equal pay for women and the creation of safe jobs. We will vote for a political party that protects women's rights to abortion, birth control and the right to sexual health. We do not consider child and elderly care as the natural duty of the woman”. 

Noting that women are “not for war and therefore we will vote for the party that allocates funds to women's education, health and employment. We will vote for the party that promises a country where we can all live in peace together”.