The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation
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The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation

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The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation Document Transcript

  • 04/12/13 The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation Wednesday Dec 04th HOME ABOUT US Structure Issues THE KHILAFAH Khilafah ANALYSIS Judiciary CONCEPTS Education NEWS WATCH Non-Muslims ACTIVISM Foreign Policy MULTIMEDIA Economy RAMADAN K.COMMENT Search Text size CONTACT US Social System The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation News Watch New Articles barring access to the Halki Seminary will Way of Allah." So what do you expect from Yemen's National opened: AKP official Dialogue Conference? In Egypt, Qutb's radical The Capitalist, Free- ideas make comeback Market Agenda for Putin and Saudi Women in Turkey intelligence chief meet Promises to Bring yet in Moscow Further Economic National Police Hardship and backtracks on Islamic Exploitation headscarf policy Remove Hasina- Rights court to examine Khaleda and Establish claims of CIA torture in the Khilafah under the Poland Leadership of Hizb ut- Military trials back to Tahrir to Free the People haunt Egyptian civilians The United Nations, the World Bank (WB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have declared the employment of women as a major factor in securing high economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating economic prosperity, and empowering women in various countries across the world. Therefore, under the banner of "women as economic drivers", these institutions and a number of other Western organisations are pushing forward this idea as a major project internationally, by planning and financing them in developing countries, especially in South East Asia and Turkey. According to the World Bank, "The challenge for Turkey is to improve the access of women to economic opportunities and job s, as this will increase total productive employment in Turkey. Increasing female employment could significantly b oost economic growth and reduce poverty in Turkey: World Bank estimates suggest that increasing the share of women who work full-time b y just 6 percentage points could increase income b y 7 percent and reduce poverty b y 15 percent". spend their wealth reform: deputy PM mosque in Athens UMM KHALID "Those who disbelieve decision, Gulf aid helps remain closed until the TUESDAY, 03 DECEMBER 2013 18:39 Egypt delays IMF loan Q&A: What is the Is Africa the new frontier Evidence that Land is of global terrorism? never idle? Traces of Ottoman rule The De Facto Authority in in Algeria revealed by Lebanon is not researcher impartial, but part of the Islam and Thomas Alliance Supporting Ash- Jefferson Sham's Tyrant Now is the Time for those in the Palestinian Women's Organizations Economists have stated that Turkey faces a large gender gap in labour force participation. Only 29 percent of Turkish women (defined as being between the ages of 15-64 years) in Turkey are active in the labour market, which is the lowest rate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and female labour force participation in the country has declined since 1988. According to the World Bank this decline in female labour force participation is a result of the migration of families from rural to urban areas, and the occupational changes associated with this internal migration, as women in rural areas tend to work on family land and other traditional sectors, contributing to family income and welfare. When they move to the cities however, women who have only a basic primary education struggle to compete for urban jobs and, in the absence of adequate child care facilities, often stay at home to look after their children and family. According to some economists, this leads to further de-skilling and thus may explain the long lasting downward trend in labour force participation. to Face the Truth and Consequently, the World Bank in partnership with a number of Turkish institutions is undertaking various actions and initiatives to increase female employment in the country. These institutions include the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD), the Local Chamber of Industry of Gaziantep, KOC University, the Regional Development Agency in Samsun, Women's NGOs, Central Government Agencies, the Undersecretariat of Treasury, State Ministry in charge of the Status of Women, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and the Equality Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). In addition, the factors underlying low female employment in Turkey and the benefits of getting more women to work have and are been covered widely in the society, including in local and international media, in publications on major websites in Turkey, and during discussions at numerous events both inside and outside the country, all of which has generated a false understanding of the cause and solutions of poverty and unfortunately made women embrace these erroneous ideas of economic improvement. Girls of Alexandria?! The Turkish Government has also implemented a number of actions and plans in order to increase women in work according to the suggestions of the World Bank. In May 2010 the Turkish Prime Ministry issued a 'Circular on Female Employment' laying out provisions to ensure gender equality in the workplace, engendering vocational training and non-formal education to the needs of women, and increasing access of working mothers Reveal the Nature of the Conflict! Jakarta International Conference of Muslim Intellectuals VIDEO: Q&A on spending wealth - Abu Talha You Imprison the Honorable Women and How Do You Pass Judgment? Geneva II: Anyone who participates is an agent of the West and a traitor to the Muslims From KComment History, Muharram and New beginnings Slavery and Soccer Qatar's heresy www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/social-system/17546-the-capitalist-free-market-agenda-for-women-in-turkey-promises-to-bring-yet-further-economic-ha… 1/6
  • 04/12/13 The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation to child care services. In February 2011, the Government extended incentives to employers for hiring women, and US Exceptionalism: 10 introduced incentives for self-employed women and part-time workers. Preschool services have also been things the US is expanding since October 2009. exceptional at On the 22nd of October 2013, the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the Government of Sweden Egypt and Syria: Tricky [Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA)] and the WB launched a project to support Debate with Brother increasing access of women to economic opportunities in Turkey. This project will be funded by SIDA with about from the Muslim 4.5 million US Dollars and will receive technical assistance from the WB. Also the European Bank for Brotherhood Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted a 60 million US Dollar credit last year via the privatized banks in Turkey to aid women in opening their own enterprises. When “Islamism” Currently the Turkish government under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who have adopted the idea of "Women as Economic Drivers" is also preparing to announce a new employment package regarding paid maternity leave and flexible working conditions for new mothers. The package, entitled "Female Employment and Birth" is aimed at incentivising women with children to stay in employment and will extend paid maternity leave to 18 or 19 weeks from the current 16 and provide flexible working conditions for new mothers. Becomes an Opium The West Turns Malala Yusufzai into a Phenomenon to Further its Own Interests! New (Naya) Pakistan or The government initially planned to extend paid maternity leave to six months, but due to the strong backlash more of the same? from industry bosses, this idea was revised and replaced by options allowing women to work on a part-time Underemployment: So basis for up to six months in their current jobs. The package also introduces new rules for employees to protect Many People in Work women from demotion or a suspension in rank. Employers will be obliged to continue the employment of a despite the Downturn? worker after completing her paid or unpaid leave. A United States of However, all these plans and actions will not aid Turkey's women to climb out of poverty! This is all nothing more than covering the wounds in Turkey's economy with plasters, by forcing women to provide for themselves and their families and to contribute to the economic improvement of the country at any cost – a fact which is also seen by other organisations and women's unions in the country. It is an irrefutable fact that the root cause of the poverty and economic hardship facing millions in Turkey today is not a result of low numbers of women in the workforce, nor simply due to the failings of the current government. It is rather a direct result of the implementation of secular capitalism and its liberal free-market economic system and liberalization policies in the country. This means that no matter which government comes into power under this system, it will be doomed to fail. And it explains why very little has changed in the poverty line and degree of economic hardship affecting the population over the past few years. Today, 12 million Turks live under the poverty line - that's 16% of Turkey's population. Those at risk of persistent poverty are more than 14 million people, and the proportion of the population who have severe financial problems is around 60%. Such harsh realities are the direct fallout of flawed financial decisions, interest-based finance, and policies such as the privatisation of natural resources that have stemmed from the defective economic basis of the capitalist free-market model of organising economies. Islam? Our Real Enemy is not Each Other but the Kuffar who Wish to Destroy Us! For example, in order to amass the money to close interest-based debts to the IMF amounting to 22 billion USD, Turkey implemented a number of policies suggested by the IMF and WB such as fixing the exchange rate, privatising major state owned industries and assets, liberalizing further its economy. • Firstly, fixing the exchange rate meant that purchasing as well as borrowings from abroad stayed at the same price for a long term, which encouraged imports as well as foreign money owners to invest in Turkey's industries, banking and commercial sectors. Alongside the increased imports, this ability of borrowing from abroad and foreign investments also boosted the privatization of Public Economic Enterprises as private investors were able to offer the needed capital in order to buy those enterprises. As a result of this, Turkey currently has the highest external debt ever, amounting to 413 billion USD, which is about 51% of its GDP. One-third of the foreign debts belong to the state and the Central Bank, the remaining two thirds belong to the private sectors, like the construction and real estate sectors, the transportation sector, information and communication firms, the food and fodder industry, the textile and metal industry and further more. However in order to pay their debts, the private sectors had to increase their sales prices for their products which led to higher consumer prices. The energy sector, as one example, has long-term debts above 9 billion USD which has caused the increasing gas and electricity costs for the people in the country. Additionally, electricity is sold to industries and commercial sectors at even higher prices, raising their production costs, which leads to burdening consumers with higher prices for basic commodities. Another dangerous outcome of foreign money – that deceptively gives the false impression of economic growth within the country – is that it places the economy in a weak and vulnerable position, because in the case of any political or economic instability or risk, foreign investors are likely to pull out their money over night and leave the country's economy in deep difficulties. • Secondly, Turkey's debts of USD 22 billion to the IMF were paid off through the sale of state owned-assets for 38.84 billion Dollars. At the same time, the privatization of more than 80 industrial enterprises, in particular, energy resources and providers of electricity, gas and fuel, made Turkey dependent on foreign suppliers and therefore forced it to import 75 % of its energy requirements, although having more than enough resources to provide for the country. Being dependent on foreign suppliers selling energy at higher and increasing prices, such as for fuel, led to higher costs for consumers in Turkey who pay the highest fuel prices in the world at the moment. Alongside this these higher fuel costs lead to higher production costs in agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors of society, which are then passed on to the prices of basic foodstuff, public transportation and other products in the market. Furthermore these privatizations led to the shut-down of industries resulting in increasing unemployment of over 2.5 million. It also led to the migration of over 2.3 million people to other cities away from their homes, which is also seen by the WB as a major cause of unemployment and increasing poverty in the country. Unemployment and migration hit women and children hardest –not only economically but also psychologically. • Thirdly, due to free-market trade liberalization policies, Turkey decided two years ago to import live cattle and www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/social-system/17546-the-capitalist-free-market-agenda-for-women-in-turkey-promises-to-bring-yet-further-economic-ha… 2/6
  • 04/12/13 The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation sheep that also became expensive because of the privatized fodder industry. These imports helped to improve the economies of the EU and US but led to a loss of more than 2.7 billion USD in foreign exchange. This figure is 2.7 times the amount Turkey invested in its own farmers and stockbreeders, who suffered under rising fodder prices. Ultimately, these imports caused an increase of meat prices for the consumers. • And fourthly, the debts of the state that resulted from its capitalist policies were unloaded onto the masses. Government repayment of debts has in large part been raised through direct and indirect taxes upon the people, which also increased the prices of goods and the cost of living of families, hence causing a further burden to the middle and lower classes, especially since these taxes were raised through a lopsided tax system. For example, whether individuals fall into the lower, middle, or upper income brackets, they are all subjected to the same indirect 18% sales tax which is imposed on most basic necessities, goods and services, hence disproportionately affecting the rich and poor; while additionally, the sales tax for products such as caviar, widely recognised as a privilege of the wealthy is only 8%, and 0% for some precious stones. Such unjust taxes have contributed to an increased 8-fold income disparity between the rich and poor, meaning that the richest 20% received almost half of the national income, and the poorest 20% only 6%. Additionally the prices for bread, housing, education and healthcare continue to increase. It is due to these high and rising living costs as well as the economic fall-out of other capitalist free-market policies that many women are forced to work to provide an additional income in order that their family be able to afford basic necessities. Therefore, the idea that increasing women in work will improve their living standards, while they continue to be subject to such high costs and economic hardships that have resulted from liberal policies is not only irrational, it is highly unjust for it essentially blames and burdens women with the task of solving and lifting the economic difficulties of the country that have been directly caused by its capitalist system. Furthermore, these incentives and initiatives to push more women into employment will bring nothing but the further exploitation of women in low paid, low quality, and underqualified jobs where they are forced to work long hours. The Turkish Government's new employment package mentioned above, titled "Female Employment and Birth Package" may seem at first glance to offer a number of advantages for women who want to work and have a family at the same time, such as its promise of lowered taxes or tax breaks for families having three or more children. However, many women's unions and platforms have already opposed this package, arguing that its aim is only to force women to work in more jobs as part of the rented workforce under subcontracting which brings fewer employment rights, with the promised tax breaks in truth offering very little to improve the finances of families. Even currently, with regards to employment, people in Turkey work 1877 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1776 hours. Around 46% of employees – which includes women - work very long hours, much higher than the OECD average of 9%. According to Eurostat, Turkish women in general have to work more than 48 hours a week. This means working nearly 7 days a week in order to provide for their families or to afford more than just the basic needs. Nearly 53 percent of the 7.7 million female workers (4.1 million) work informally and without social security. Facts about female employment show that 2.5 million of the country's working women are in the low-paid agriculture sector. According to TEPAV (Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey), the number of women employed outside of agriculture increased to 4.9 million in the first half of the year 2013, with a rise of 1.5 million women over the last four years. Particularly in the service sector the number of working women increased rapidly. 25% of women working outside the agricultural sector are employed in the production industry, working as cheap labour for example in the food, garment and textile sectors. Considering the figures given by Türk-İş (Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions), published in August 2013 that net minimum wages amount to 868 TRY, while the hunger limit has been set at 1019 TRY and the poverty limit at 3321 TRY, the exploitation of women within the workforce needs no further explanation. It is therefore clear that women under such a capitalist system will not achieve better living conditions through employment. In addition to pushing women into the labour force, the harsh living conditions and poverty in Turkey even force children to work. "The Other Turkey Report" in November 2013, which contained a summary of the main statistics in Turkey and was published by the opposition party, the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) revealed that there were 445,000 children between the ages of 6-17 working in the country, and that the number of working children had increased by 64% between 2006 and 2012. In 2012, 36 children lost their lives due to avoidable work accidents and just in the first 9 months of 2013, 45 children lost their lives in similar incidents. Such figures, together with the Turkish governments new employment package, show clearly that any initiatives resulting from these free-market ideas, including that of part-time working for women, and easing access to subcontracting are nothing more than easing tools for the exploitation of women and their children. And rather than improving regulations on employment rights and working conditions, capitalist institutions such as the IMF and World Bank often call for deregulation of trade laws that often worsen the lives of workers, in order to improve profits for multinational corporations. Capitalism is undoubtedly an ideology where generating wealth speaks louder than human suffering. Furthermore, the fact that Turkey ranks first among the OECD countries for the highest rates of female entrepreneurs is not a reflection of the economic empowerment of the country's women, as many of these businesswomen are struggling to keep afloat due to the flawed free-market principles which favour big business and corporations over smaller companies and enterprises. It is therefore clear that increasing the numbers of women in employment under a free market system which is the invention of a flawed and unjust liberal capitalist system will not improve their economic status. The drive to push more women into work in Turkey will not lift them out of poverty but rather promises to bring further www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/social-system/17546-the-capitalist-free-market-agenda-for-women-in-turkey-promises-to-bring-yet-further-economic-ha… 3/6
  • 04/12/13 The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation exploitation for millions of women and even children in low-paid jobs that only benefit the rich corporations and businesses, whose presence and influence was clearly visible during the preparation of the Turkish government's new employment package. Another very important consequence of capitalism and its view of "Women as economic drivers" that is forcing women – through economic or social pressures - to gain employment is that it harms the natural desire of women to establish families and become full-time mothers, and hence also negatively affects the rights of children. In November 2013 a study was published and conducted in cooperation by the Koç and Sabancı Universities in Turkey, entitled "Family, Work and Social Gender in Turkey", revealed that 61% of women "primarily want to have a family and children, even if working might be good". In addition, 58.2% of women declared that a woman having a pre-school child should stay at home, and 43.3% agreed with the opinion that if a woman works her family will be negatively effected. These numbers are reflected in the growing difficulties that those living under secular democratic systems face across the world, including in Turkey. There is ever-increasing news about the host of problems affecting children and youth in both Muslim and non-Muslim secular states, ranging from psychological issues to drug abuse. The lack of effective care, nurturing and education that children need from their mothers who are not able to give this due to the heavy demands of work have a large part to play in causing such problems. Many issues arising within the younger generations, including delinquent or anti-social behaviour can be attributed to the reduced quality and amount of time parents in general and mothers in particular spend with their children. This, not only harms the relationship between child and parents but also affects the character of the children and results in great harms to the society. In a survey published in 2013 by the PEW Research Centre on the impact of working mothers on family life in the US, almost ¾ of respondents agreed that the increasing numbers of women working in the country has made it harder for parents to raise children. Additionally, in 2011, a UNICEF report warned that British parents were trapping their children in a cycle of "compulsive consumerism" by showering them with toys and designer clothes instead of spending quality time with them, blaming this for contributing to the riots and widespread looting which gripped the UK in the same year. Clearly, prioritising wealth creation over securing the wellbeing of children and families leads inevitably to neglecting natural desires and needs. A number of today's prestigious female Muslim writers and psychologists especially among the Muslim populations, have also explained the many difficulties of being a woman in modern Turkish society where she faces the burden of being a mother and breadwinner for her family. They describe that this pressure upon women to race with men under the guise of 'women's empowerment' and in the name of feminism and secular freedoms is a huge injustice to the woman. In conclusion, there is no doubt that this faulty capitalist system that embraces the liberal free-market economy cannot lead to better lives for women and their families. Indeed, the aim of such capitalist policies, including the promotion of "Women as economic drivers" is one of exploiting women as tools to counter, conceal, and divert attention from the failed economic policies of capitalist states. The only acceptable, humane and guaranteed way out of exploitation and poverty, in addition to achieving real economic empowerment of women is through the Islamic economic system, which provides simple and implementable methods with guaranteed positive results: Firstly, Islam prohibits interest and builds an economy based on wealth creation rather than credit and debt. In addition, the prohibition of interest reduces the cost of living. Citizens and businesses who know they will not gain any benefit from placing their money in banks will therefore be inclined to use their wealth and profits to invest in enterprises or expansion of businesses that generates jobs, reducing unemployment. Secondly, Islam prohibits the privatisation of natural resources such as water, fuel, and gas, defining these as public property that all should benefit from. This again reduces the cost of living by removing the extortionate prices charged by private companies that have taken ownership of these basic necessities under the capitalist free-market system. Thirdly, Islam is based upon a low taxation model, where tax is paid on excess wealth, as seen with Zakat, or for example imposed upon land-owners and calculated according to the produce that they grow in their lands in a fair and just manner that does not over-burden them. At the same time, Islam prohibits stealth taxes such as general sales tax on products that place an unfair economic burden on the poor compared to the rich. This again lowers the cost of living. And finally the Islamic view towards the role of women is one of the nurturer and educator of the children and not of a provider for the family and in particular not one of contributing to the economic growth of the state. On the contrary, Islam obliges the men of the family and the state to provide for the financial, material needs of the woman. Islam does permit women to gain employment but not within jobs that oppress and exploit her, nor force her to compromise her important duties as a mother and home-maker. However, a healthy, prosperous economy that generates plenty of good quality employment opportunities and hence enables men to effectively provide for their families, without the need for their wives, daughters, and mothers to aid them as bread-winners can only be guaranteed and delivered through the full implementation of the laws of Allah ‫ ,ﺳﺑﺣﺎﻧﮫ وﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ‬including the sound Islamic system and policies, under the ruling of the Khilafah state. Allah ‫ ﺳﺑﺣﺎﻧﮫ وﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ‬says, ُ ‫َﻤ َﺳﺲ ﺑ َﻪ ﻋَٰﻘﻮى ﻣﻦ ﱠ َر ٰن ﺧﯿَم ﻣ َﺳﺲ ﺑ َﻪ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺷﻔﺎ ﺟﺮف َﺎﻧﮫﺎِﻪ ﻓﻰ‬ ‫رﺑ‬ ‫أ َ ٰﻨ‬ ‫ﺮ‬ ‫و ﺿﻮ‬ ‫أ َ ٰﻨ‬ ‫أﻓ‬ ِ َ ‫ََﻦ ﱠ ُ ﻨﯿـَُ ﻠﻰ ﺗ ٰ َ اِ ِ ٌٍَ أ َﻦ ﱠ ُ ﻨﯿـَُ ٰ َ ٍُ ھﺎر ﻓ‬ ِ ٍ ّ ‫ﻘ‬ ‫ﻧﺎر ﺟﮭۗ وُ ﻻ ﯾﮭدىَوم ِﻠﻣﯾن‬ َ ‫ِ ﱠم ﱠ ِ اﻟَ ٰـ‬ ‫اﻟظ‬ ‫َﻧ‬ َ ‫َََ ا‬ "Who is better: someone who founds his building on taqwa of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of Hell? Allah does not love wrongdoers." (At-Tauba: 109) www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/social-system/17546-the-capitalist-free-market-agenda-for-women-in-turkey-promises-to-bring-yet-further-economic-ha… 4/6
  • 04/12/13 The Capitalist, Free-Market Agenda for Women in Turkey Promises to Bring yet Further Economic Hardship and Exploitation Adobe Flash Player not installed or older than 9.0.115! Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by Umm Khalid Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir Hits: 224 Email This Bookmark Set as favorite Trackback(0) TrackBack URI for this entry Comments (0) Subscribe to this comment's feed Write comment Nam e Em ail Title Com m ent smaller | bigger I have read and agree to the Terms of Usage. Write the displayed characters Add Com m ent Next > www.khilafah.com/index.php/the-khilafah/social-system/17546-the-capitalist-free-market-agenda-for-women-in-turkey-promises-to-bring-yet-further-economic-ha… 5/6
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