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Yonca Poyraz  Dogan –  Today’s Zaman - Wednesday, 11 January 2012 (originally published 09 Jan)

Protesters holding signs

Women’s rights groups have long protested the increasing cases of violence against women, as almost half of all women say they have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners. Image: Cihan

Women’s rights groups are preparing for a meeting this week with Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Şahin, who drafted a new bill to address cases of violence against women in Turkey, where almost half of all women say they have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners.

The ministry and civil society groups have been in touch with each other regarding how the bill, “The Draft Law for the Protection of Women and Family Members from Violence,” should be shaped. However, women’s groups have been uneasy about the way their communication with the ministry has gone, since they say the ministry keeps making changes to the bill without consulting them.

For example, the ministry made critical changes to the law just before meeting with women’s organizations but did not make these organizations aware of the changes prior to or at the meeting. The changes were with regards to the eligibility of women for protection from violence. Even though the previous draft encompassed all women, including “those in close relationships” – pertaining to unmarried women who are involved in a relationship — in the latest draft that clause had been removed . . .

. . . read complete article . . .

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