As womens organizations when our countless appointment requests were completely disregarded, on June 6th, we appealed to the Prime Ministry with a petition including more than 3000 signatures collected within one week. Yet despite all these efforts, on June 8th, the annulment of the State Ministry responsible of Women and the Family to be replaced by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies was announced. This implies the following:

- The Womens Ministry has vanished into history.

- The Directorate General on the Status of Women (KSGM) has been placed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies alongside family, children, disabled and elderly services, general directorate of social welfare and department of martyrs families and veterans. Thus, KGSM, the only official mechanism responsible for developing policies to ensure gender equality, has been rendered an ineffectual and disempowered unit under the ministry.

- The position of Womens Status Expert in KSGM has been replaced with Family and Social Policies expert, thus completely undermining the womens studies departments and centers at universities, which trains experts on womens policies.

- The Womens Status Units that organize womens activities and affairs working under Governorships have been repositioned to work under Special Provincial Administrations.

- The Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHЗEK) has been closed down, the central organization has been abolished and the provincial organizations turned over to Special Provincial Administrations.

- In addition to the specific problems women face as a gender, groups such as the elderly, disabled and children, once again half of which are constituted by women and girl children, have been further denied of their right to quality, free of charge, and accessible public services. The privatization of social services has been impelled; the shift from social services to social charity has gained new momentum.

In Turkey where the state falls short of even protecting womens most fundamental human right to life, and 42\% of women and girl children are systematically subject to violence, this decision will render the already imperfect equality and social support mechanisms entirely ineffectual and ultimately inoperative.

Is the JDP (Justice and Development Party) government, during whose administration violence increased 1400\% and who is accountable for hundreds of women slaughtered by men as they failed to take the necessary measures, not aware that by putrefying the existent mechanisms with these changes they are creating a society where mens violence will spread even further, becoming a time bomb?

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, signed only recently on May 11, which the government of Turkey boasts of being the first signatory openly recognizes that if there is violence in a country, this is due to the gender inequality and the state is responsible to prevent this violence. This re-organization of the ministry, which does not comply with the states obligations to this end, is also in blatant violation of all international conventions and treaties Turkey is signatory to.

We reject the approach women dont exist, only the family matters!

Prime Minister Erdoрan announced the new ministry with the statement, "We are a conservative democrat party. Family is important to us. As women we are defined as citizens in legislation, the constitution and international documents and we have rights. Regardless of the fact whether we are a member of a family or not, first and foremost, we are individuals. Just as we are subject to inequality, discrimination and violence in all spheres of social life ranging from equal participation in politics to employment, we refuse to be deserted with the same inequality and violence within the family that we are attempted to be confined to. We reject this approach that pays no heed to women outside the family, and that sacrifices women and womens human rights to the sustenance of the family!

We are not a mere detail; we constitute half of society

When asked about the future of KSGM following the annulment of the Womens Ministry, the Prime Minister responded by saying thats a detail. We are not a mere detail; we constitute half of this society. We remind the architects of these policies that disregard women only four days before the election, that as women, we have a vote not just in this election, but in all elections, and declare that we will persist in our efforts to reverse the counter-reforms and backlashes in womens issues and relevant policies in the newly elected parliament.

We will continue with our struggle until Gender Equality is established as a firm state policy.

Please sign our petition to stop the annulment of Women's Ministry

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