Sunday February 17, 2019

Turkey’s President Erdogan ignites debate by stating Family Planning is against Islamic Beliefs

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contraceptive pill. Image source VOA

Religion dominates gender equality 

The land of tulips and Santa Claus has caught into controversy. Turkey being a developing secular nation, there is no separation between the religion and the State. It is a country with 98% of Muslims, just like Pakistan. The Islamic Council in Pakistan says Pakistani husbands can ‘lightly beat’ their wives as it goes against the Islamic tradition. This has raised the issue of gender equality and left a remark on people’s minds about religion.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey recently announced that no birth control methods or family planning should be done by Muslims as it violates the Muslim traditions.

On Monday(30th May) in a televised speech he said “We will multiply our descendants. They talk about population planning, birth control. No Muslim family can do have such an approach

Contraceptive pills. Image source Wikipedia
Contraceptive pills. Image source Wikipedia

People have been pushing things just in the name of religion. “A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods,” the Pakistani Islamic Council report states, according to Pakistan’s Express-Tribune newspaper. Along with this, Pakistan had banned the broadcast of birth control advertisements which is now partially removed.

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Speaking against gender equality, Mr President has angered many women’s group in the past by dictating the exact number of children a woman should have. Cesarean births have been limited in Turkey, saying women who give birth that way generally cannot have more than one more child. And attempts to ban abortion had been taken place.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (2nd R), the new spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims visits the Imam Ali shrine, in Najaf, 160km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, March 1, 2014. Picture taken March 1, 2014. REUTERS/ Ahmad Mousa (IRAQ - Tags: RELIGION)
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (2nd R), the new spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims visits the Imam Ali shrine, in Najaf, 160km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, March 1, 2014. Picture taken March 1, 2014. REUTERS/ Ahmad Mousa (IRAQ – Tags: RELIGION)

Many such cruel steps have been taken which circle around the disenfranchising of women and her power. The recent Female Genital Mutilation too has been the main topic of discussion in many councils.

-by Vrushali Mahajan. Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Every religion says its our duty to save mother Earth and to serve her. Then why family planning is against Islamic beliefs? It is totally unexpectable.

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Fight For Gender Equality Faces Resistance From The United Nations: Study

Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was sworn in December 2016 after a campaign in which many countries urged selection of a woman.

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U.N.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses delegates during the opening session of a UN Migration Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Dec.10, 2018. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has inched up slightly in the eyes of women’s groups who said on Wednesday he has delivered on some promises to make the global organization a feminist institution but faces a major backlash and resistance.

The Feminist U.N. Campaign, a coalition of women’s rights groups, advocates and U.N. staff, gave him a grade of B-, up from the C+ it gave him a year ago.

The coalition launched its report card after the secretary-general said he would be a feminist leader when he took office two years ago.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Global movement

In that time, the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment and assault has become a global movement.

Guterres has promoted women’s rights and equality publicly, sought gender parity in leadership and rolled out efforts against sexual harassment and gender-based violence, the report said.

But an internal backlash and bureaucracy threaten his progress. His efforts to make structural changes have met “considerable resistance” from staff and member states that resist women’s rights, it said.

Lyric Thompson, an author of the report and a director at the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, said she thinks Guterres has “a genuine intent and interest in being a champion” of women’s rights.

Women's March,
People carrying signs join hundreds of demonstrators in the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

“The question is can he do everything in his power to be a feminist leader who enables that transformation and who makes it the new normal?” she said to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The U.N. is “years away” from being a feminist institution, and attitudes of immunity and privilege operate to scuttle equality efforts, she said.

Just last week, a U.N. survey showed one third of its staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years.

More than 30,000 people answered the survey, complaining of offensive jokes, remarks and sexual stories and of being touched in ways that made them uncomfortable.

The U.N. has tried to increase transparency and strengthen how it deals with such accusations over the past few years after a string of sexual exploitation and abuse accusations against U.N. peacekeepers in Africa.

The head of the U.N. agency for HIV and AIDS is stepping down in June, six months before his term ends, after an independent panel said his “defective leadership” tolerated “a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power.”

Women
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, center, address the human rights conference titled “Protecting Health Rights of Women and Girls Affected by Conflict,” during the U.N General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. VOA

‘Considerable progress’

The secretary-general’s office said it was pleased that the women’s groups saw improvement in Guterres’ handling of gender issues and agreed that more needs to be dome.

Also Read: Women Living in Countries with Gender Equality have better Cognitive Test Scores: Study

“At the same time, we believe the secretary-general has achieved considerable progress within the complex U.N. system at achieving real reforms to make the U.N. a better workplace for women and men alike,” his office said.

Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was sworn in December 2016 after a campaign in which many countries urged selection of a woman. The U.N. has not been headed by a woman since its creation in 1945. (VOA)