Turkey’s ‘marry your rapist’ part of a global pattern curbing women’s rights - analysis

Turkey’s plans to approve a bill that will overturn a child sex assault conviction if the offender marries his victim must be seen as part of a broader global trend that undermines the rights of women, said academic Kate Dannies in the Washington Post on Wednesday. 

Dubbed as the “marry your rapist bill”, the proposed legislation “is the latest example of how governments around the world are failing to protect women — and even institutionalising inequities that put them in danger,” said Dannies, an assistant professor of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University.

The Turkish government withdrew a similar bill in 2016 after opposition parties and rights groups strongly denounced the move, saying it would legitimise rape and early or forced marriages. 

The recent move to reintroduce the bill sparked an outcry among rights groups in Turkey, where 38 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner, according to U.N. figures

.“The legislation in Turkey must be seen as part of a broader global trend in which governments, institutions and communities are failing to ensure equal citizenship and rights for women in the law,” Dannies said. 

“This amounts in practice to a systematic failure to protect women from lifelong dependence and, increasingly, from being maimed and killed by male perpetrators,” she said, citing a 2019 U.N. report which showed that the rate of female murder has been rising while total murder rates are dropping globally.