Erdogan urges women to go forth and multiply, not allow careers to stand in their way
Erdogan, a pious Muslim, has repeatedly annoyed feminists and women's activists with his comments on sex and family planning, once describing birth control as "treason". (Twitter)
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Women should not use their work life as an excuse to not becoming mothers, especially after the government has taken steps to help them in this regard, the Turkish president has said.
Speaking at an opening ceremony of a building to be used by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) in Istanbul Sunday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "A woman's position in business life should not throw her motherhood backward.
"A woman who abstains from motherhood saying 'I am working' means she is in fact rejecting her motherhood. This is my sincere view."
The president also said that a woman who rejects motherhood and gives up maintaining her own house faces the danger of losing her own freedom, no matter how successful she may be in her work life.
He said women constituted half of humanity, while her motherhood instincts make her different from men. "We strongly reject the depiction of man and woman as rivals by ignoring this reality," the president added.
About women who work, Erdogan said their work life could not become a handicap to their motherhood and recalled that the Turkish government had introduced key reforms to encourage working women to become mothers.
"We launched many opportunities that would ease motherhood for our women, from pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding permission to flexible working [hours] and obligation [at workplaces] to have kindergartens," Erdogan said.
The president said the reforms had been launched during his tenure. "We made legal regulations that protect women in every field.
Technological opportunities paved the way for women to carry out their work from home by being close to their children.
"In brief, I absolutely do not accept making [a woman's] business life an alternative to motherhood," he added.
By Servet Günerigök
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