Çelik: Violence against women increases during ‘Stay at Home’

Nupelda Çelik from the Women’s Emancipation campaign talked about the 2-day curfew imposed by the government at weekends to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the “Stay at home” campaign launched for the same purpose on weekdays.

Çelik pointed out that the increasing number of people who contracted the virus exceeds tens of thousands and there are already a very high number of people who have died, according to the Ministry of Health figures, and added that this is partly due to the wrong or late decisions taken by the government.

Çelik said that the “Stay at home” campaign “does not include everyone: many workers who do not work in the essential services and even during the weekends lockdown the big capital gets special work permits for its workers on weekends. There is another side to the campaign, and this is the increase of violence against women. And the government insists on not seeing what is going on inside the house.”

Çelik added: “Now we have, on one hand, the women who were forced to stay at home before the pandemic measures, who were not offered a life outside the home. These women, whose identity is exploited and ignored, are subjected to twice the pressure in this process, as they have to care for the children, the elderly and the men at home. On the other hand, we have the working women, for whom what I said earlier is also true. I want to share something the Home Workers Solidarity Union (Evid-Sen) said reporting about women who were fired and were subjected to violence by the men in their homes. They are told: ‘If you don’t bring money at home, then gleave’. The government call on people to stay at home, saying that the home is a safe place. But the killers of more than 400 women who were murdered in 2019 – without any pandemic problems – were mostly men who lived in the same house as their victim.”

Noting that many rapists, women murderers and child abusers were released after the law of execution, Nupelda Çelik said that women who called the 155 were dismissed and told that ‘we can’t come, we are dealing with the coronavirus emergency’.

Reminding that the municipalities in Kurdistan had established women’s institutions before being seized and taken over by state-appointed trustees, Çelik noted that these institutions have been closed by the trustees.

Çelik ended her remarks by saying: “They passed the law of execution and celebrated by posing without respecting social distance. Murderers of women, harassers, rapists, child abusers have been released. Now they are all free to commit new murders, or to attack, harass, rape another woman. Therefore, we reiterate our call. To get rid of both the virus and the male violence together, we need to be in solidarity. We need to create women’s nets of solidarity in the neighborhoods, establish women’s communes and strengthen our organized defense.”