Sunday, March 21, 2010

Anti-Discrimination Proposal Sees Light of Day

The government has released a draft of its legislative proposal to enact a series of measures aimed at curbing discrimination based on "gender, race, colour, language, religion, belief, ethnicity, sexual identity, philosophical and political opinion, social status, marital status, health condition, disability, ages and similar essential basics." The proposal includes the establishment of an "Anti-Discrimination and Equality Commission" that would have the authority to receive, review, and rule on applications form individuals claiming to be discriminated against. The commission will have financial and administrative autonomy, the power to dole out fines up to 500,000 TL, and the right to file criminal complaints.

Significantly, the proposal also allows for cases of positive discrimination in the case of disadvantaged groups. The reform package currently under preparation is said to include provisions for positive discrimination, reform long sought after by women's groups as necessary to close Turkey's rather large gender gap in terms of employment and politics. See the above link for specific legal amendments some women's rights activists are pushing.

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