Erdogan: Gender equality against laws of nature

2014-11-24 22:31
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Istanbul - Women and men are not suited for the same types of jobs because it contradicts the laws of nature, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, sparking an outpouring of anger on social media.

"The religion of Islam gave women the priority of motherhood," Erdogan said in Istanbul at a conference on women and justice. "You cannot explain any of this to feminists because they reject the idea of motherhood, they do not care about this."

The Turkish leader went on to insist that equality at the workplace should not be an objective.

"You cannot put a mother who is breastfeeding in an equal position with the same expectations as a man who does not have these responsibilities," he told the mostly-female audience that included his wife.

"You cannot make women work in the same jobs as men do, as past Communist regimes have. Give her a shovel and make her work? You cannot do that. This goes against her delicate structure," Erdogan added.

The president, who said gender equality in the labour force goes "against the laws of nature", had previously been criticised for saying that each Turkish family should have at least three children, part of his push for more conservative values.

Erdogan, 60, was a member of the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), but resigned in August to become president, a nominally non-partisan post. He served as prime minister under the AKP for 11 years and now keeps close links with the party.

Turkey's female labour force participation rate is relatively low, at just 29%, according to the World Bank, compared to 54% for Germany and 57% in the United States.

Feminist groups called for protests in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities in light of Erdogan's remarks and concerns over domestic violence.

Internet users took to social media sites including Twitter using the hashtag #kadinerkekesittir, or women and men are equal, to express their discontent.

In 2013, 214 women were killed by their partners in Turkey, according to independent news portal Bianet. Rights groups are concerned the authorities are not doing enough to protect vulnerable women.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey  |  gender equality

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.