Women Rebel Against Sexual Violence of the Fascist Patriarchy Misogynist policies are one of the characteristic features of the fascist patriarchal state power. The fascist regime assaults on women every single day all around the country with an intense agenda. From the denial of gender equality to the usurpation of alimony rights of women, from the repeal of the women-protection law article 6284, to compulsory family settlement regulations, all the rights, which women gained by fighting for many years, have been tried to be stripped off. Yet, women stands up to all this pressure with women’s rebellions.
Turning the 8th of March into a day of resistance once again this year under the oppressive fascistic conditions, women continue to be the consistent, resistant and vanguard section of the mass movement which has beaten a retreat in the last years. While the practice of “women’s strike”, initiated by socialist women for the first time on 8 March, poses as an important experience for the upcoming years, it has become a sign that women raise their voice and take action for not only women’s issues but also all general political issues in terms of continuity of political activity.
Again, the action power of women’s mind on May Day allowed women’s demands to be heard at the highest volume. This year, at the May Day squares, women voiced the labour exploitation they suffer both at home and at work, being pushed more into flexible and insecure working conditions in the face of aggravating economical crisis, the hunger strike resistance which was initiated by Leyla Güven and spread with the participation of thousands of prisoners, their sexual freedom demands and women’s justice struggle against the violence against women and children.
At the beginning of April, when thousands of people taking to the streets after the political crisis brought up by the results of the 31 March municipality elections in Istanbul and the following re-election decision proved once more that mass movements have not yielded into a total graveyard silence despite all the brutal attacks of fascism, a sequence of numerous violence and sexual assault cases in such short time period was met by a women’s mass reaction on the streets again.
And the sexual abuse of a 5-year-old child on 23 April in Kanarya quarter in Küçükçekmece district in Istanbul turned into a massive outburst of rage. While the child was taken to the hospital, the toiling people of Kanarya quarter took to the streets under the leadership of women. The family and the neighbourhood were attacked by police. Immediately after the state brought a broadcast ban to the media on that incident. As a result of the actions the rapist has been captured. The women‘s organizations in the neighbourhood carried out awareness raising activities in order to prevent lynching and racist movements. Socialist women played an active role in demonstrating a political goal, concretising the demands of justice and carrying out actions in a de facto legitimate line.
After this terrible incidence in Istanbul, women‘s mass organizations also organized actions in many other cities of Turkey. In the actions, shields with the slogans “Raise your voice against child abuse”, “You have to be the voice that a child can not raise”, “Rebellion against harassment and rape”, “Sentence, arrest the perpetrator”, “The Ensar regime will be destroyed” and “I won’t be silent, you will be ashamed” have been carried. The Women shouted out slogans like “We aren’t silent, we have no fear, we don’t obey”, “Women, Life, Freedom”, “Children will be silent, but you shouldn’t”, and “Not the perpetrators, protect the victims”.
So what caused this outburst of anger? Let‘s look at some statistics of the social decay organized by the AKP. It showed a 700 percent increase of child abuse in the last 10 years in Turkey. One in every 4 rape cases in the country is about children. The judiciary does not conduct an effective and just investigation against the perpetrators of abuse and rape, and the perpetrators are protected from impunity. 26 percent of married women are married in Turkey under the age of 18, 10 percent get their first child before the age of 18. In the last 10 years 482 thousand 908 girls were married. Turkey fills worldwide the third rank when it comes to sexual abuse, harassment and rape against children. An average of 8,000 children are abused annually. These cases of sexual abuse affect the whole and the future of society, leaving children with various cognitive, emotional, physical and social consequences.
The women‘s movement has recently raised the struggle to fight against a bill, which is called the “marriage amnesty” and shall serve to legitimize child abuse, because it offers immunity from prosecution for child abusers, who marry the child they abused. This legalization and the language used by the ruling media legitimize and normalize child abuse. Contrary to the decisions of the decaying political system, consent cannot be discussed in case of sexual abuse of children. Justice can only be achieved by considering the abuse by an adult, not the consent of the child. The justice system has not the right to protect the abusers, but the responsibility to act in the interest of the children, it’s right to life and develop, it’s right to participate and grow in a safe environment. And women have to fight for this in every situation. While women are leading a political mass struggle against the patriarchal state and its male justice, which prefer to reduce sentences for rapists in case of “good behaviour and respectable attitude” instead of protecting women’s and children’s rights, they develop all their means and forms of struggle, including self-defence and write their own history. If there is hope for the future in the heavy political atmosphere of fascism, it lays in the resistance. What will undermine fascism is the growth of this hope, and women play this role today.
MLCP, International Bulletin n
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