Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Women, work and motherhood

A government proposal to lengthen the duration of paid maternity leave from four months to six months is generating apprehension rather than applause from women in Turkey.

"It is a positive development in principle, but may become an obstacle for women to return to work," Gulden Turktan, the Istanbul-based president of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER), told Women's eNews.

Women already start facing barriers in working life once they get pregnant, added Nur Ger, the founder and CEO of the Istanbul-based SUTEKS Textiles and the chair of the Turkish Industry and Business Association's gender equality working group.

"There is a tendency among employers to avoid hiring pregnant women since they will need to take their [maternity] leave soon," she said.

The maternity leave discussion currently underway in the Turkish cabinet comes amid increasing pressure on Turkish women to have more children. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been calling since 2008 for women to have "at least three" children to revitalize the country's slowing population growth....

Read the rest of this article on Women's eNews: "Maternity Leave Boost May Backfire in Turkey"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Art and violence

The girl's wide eyes gaze out expectantly from beneath her blue-and-gold turban-style headdress, a single teardrop pearl glimmering in her ear. The photograph is a near-match for Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring," except for one thing; cuts and bruises mar the subject's eyes, cheeks and chin.

Turkish artist Derya Kilic's recent photography exhibition "To Know, To See . . . ," which closed in mid-January after a month at the Macka Sanat Galerisi in Istanbul, confronted viewers with a series of well-known figures -- women painted by the likes of Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Leonardo Da Vinci and Gustav Klimt, each bearing the marks of violence on their faces and bodies....

Read the rest of my article for Women's eNews about female artists in Turkey grappling with issues of gender-based violence in their work: "Turkish Artist Paints Cuts, Bruises on Old Masters"