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DELEGATES at TUC women’s conference vowed yesterday to step up their solidarity with women who are on the “front line of resistance” against Turkey’s brutal regime.
TSSA Women in Focus convener Sarah-Jane McDonough urged TUC delegates to “raise their voices” for those struggling for basic democratic rights in Turkey.
“As we are more than aware, the Kurdish people have been persecuted for decades,” she said.
“Their campaign for democratic rights even includes the most basic of rights, just to be able to speak in their own language.“
She praised “the collaborative work between journalists in Turkey and the Morning Star newspaper here,” which Ms McDonough said “has helped to expose the attacks against freedom and democracy in the country.”
Last year the union became the first to affiliate to Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan, an initiative started by the Morning Star’s NUJ chapel.
TSSA has been at the forefront of campaigning for labour and women’s rights in Turkey.
Ms McDonough said she was “proud of my union … for building strong links with the HDP women’s platform in Turkey.”
She hit out at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for presiding over a “brutal and authoritarian regime.”
“He has called the HDP’s co-chair system — a system which ensures equal representation — an act of terrorism in a bid to stop women participating in political life,” Ms McDonough said.
“Women face constant attacks on their demonstrations and meetings. These women are at the forefront of the struggle in Turkey, a country which is one of the most unequal in the world.”
Over 430 femicides took place in Turkey last year, Ms McDonough said. And the country ranks 130th out of 153 countries in the Gender Pay Gap Index.
Ms McDonough encouraged trade unions to affiliate to HDP women’s platform and Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan.
A meeting will be held in London over the coming weeks to discuss how to build and organise solidarity with the HDP, trade unions and women’s organisations, she said.
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