Turkey's Women Fight for Equal Rights—Again

Constitution chucks equality clause for one calling them 'needy'
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Oct 3, 2007 4:09 AM CDT
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the Turkish Cultural Center second annual friendship dinner, Friday, Sept. 28, 2007, in New York. In the background is a photo of Mustafa Kemal...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Turkish women are up in arms after a draft of the country's new constitution deemed them a "vulnerable" group in "need of protection," the BBC reports. Over 80 activist groups have slammed the document, which they say inserted the clause in place of language that would have committed the government to promoting equality. "We don't need protection. We need equality," said one activist.  

Turkey's current constitution includes an equality provision. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made passing the new constitution a key goal following his re-election in July. The document has also drawn criticism over a provision that would allow Islamic women to wear headscarves in Turkish universities—currently banned under the country's rigidly secularist law.