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Brussels, 14 February 2013
EU-Turkey: With Minister Şahin about progress on women's rights
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met with Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policies, Fatma Şahin in Brussels today.
Commissioner Füle underlined the importance the Commission and the EU in general attach to the promotion of women's rights and gender equality both in the Member States and in partner countries, in particular in the EU candidate and aspirant countries. He appreciated the initiatives Minister Şahın has taken during her term of office, notably through the adoption in March last year of the Law on the Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence.
The Commissioner also expressed his full support for her reform efforts and committed to increase the support for them. He recalled that apart from combating violence against women, access to employment and access to education and political representation are also important aspects of enhancing women's rights ın Turkey.
"Violence against women is one of the evils in this world and needs to be not only deplored but eradicated. The European Union has shown how gender equality and women´s rights can be guaranteed and we are paying particular attention to these issues also in the enlargement process," he said.
Commissioner Füle and Minister Şahin agreed to cooperate closely on the issue in future, notably through further targeted assistance projects in Turkey.
After the meeting they jointly participated in the performance of the dancers from One Billion Rising Campaign organised in the building of the European Commission by the Turkish Connections Platform and European Women’s Lobby in order to raise awareness about violence against women.