Guardian claims Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says childless women are deficient and incomplete
On 6 June 2016, the Guardian published a news story about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks in speech he delivered at the opening ceremony of the new headquarters of the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM).1 The title of the article claims Erdogan said, “childless women are deficient, incomplete.”
However, what Erdogan actually said was the following:
A woman who abstains from motherhood saying 'I am working' means she is in fact rejecting her womanhood. A woman who rejects motherhood and gives up maintaining her own house is deficient, is incomplete no matter how successful she may be in her work life. Women constitute half of humanity, even the humanity as a whole. There is no humanity without motherhood. Her motherhood instincts, her care for her family and children, her grace make woman different from man. We categorically reject the understanding that considers man and woman as rivals.2
Erdogan in the same speech also emphasised he is a strong supporter of women having careers: "Female labor force participation rate in Turkey keeps rising. In 2004, it was 20% while, today, this figure has approximated to 32%. We made important regulations for encouraging working mothers. The period of maternity leaves before and after birth is extendend. Breastfeeding breaks, flexible working hours and compulsory kindergartens in the workplace were introduced."