In the last year and a half, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality was renamed Family Policy and Gender Equality while it was transferred to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs from the Ministry of the Interior. It is now renamed again to General Secretariat of Demographic and Family Policy and Gender Equality (PD 2/2021 Official Gazette 2/A/5-1-2021)
The inclusion of the GS of Gender Equality and the Center for Research on Equality Issues in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs discredited the two main national institutions of the state for gender equality, equating and linking it to the labor sector leaving out fundamental fields.
Specifically: the prevention and treatment of gender-based violence and human trafficking, the removal of discrimination against women in health, education, and entrepreneurship, the elimination of social exclusion and the threat of poverty for vulnerable groups of women (single parents, unemployed, refugees, survivors of gender-based violence, etc.), equal participation in decision-making centers, the elimination of sexism in public discourse and the media, etc.
Moreover, the coexistence of gender equality and family policy under the same body limits the scope of equality policies, linking women unequivocally to the family, and perpetuating the most conservative patriarchal stereotypes of gender roles.
Now with its renaming to Demographic and Family Policy and Gender Equality, the discredit is even greater, while the shift towards conservative perceptions of previous decades according to which it is women who are primarily associated with the “demographic problem of the country” is now obvious.
The Diotima Center, joining its voice with the claims of feminist and women’s organizations and collectives, calls for immediate measures to institutionalize the autonomy of public bodies for gender equality and their immediate disconnection (even symbolically) from the demographic and family policy.
At the same time, we consider it necessary to strengthen horizontal public policies for gender equality with human resources and assets, particularly in the context of the current socioeconomic precariousness and the increase in the pandemic dimension of gender-based violence.
In fact, perhaps it is time to think not only about the reconstitution of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and the integration of the Secretariat and KETHI into the Ministry of the Interior, but the creation of a Ministry for Gender Equality.
January 15, 2020