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Erdogan pledges new plan to protect women from violence

Government has dealt 20,000 cases of abuse against women, Erdogan says, and perpetrators will be punished with new laws.

Istanbul

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday a new reform plan to protect women from physical and sexual abuse will be rolled out by Turkey's government in the coming months.

Speaking to a large crowd at an event on Sunday marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Erdogan called violence against women a "betrayal to humanity".

"Whoever is involved in this betrayal must be punished," the president said.

Erdogan also highlighted the importance of women to society.

"If there are no women, then half of the society is not there… A society without women is destined to disappear," the Anadolu news agency quoted him as saying.

Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry has investigated 20,000 cases of violence against women, he said.

The United Nations says one-third of all women suffer physical or sexual violence during their lifetime.

"It is time for united action from all of us so that women and girls around the world can live free from harassment, harmful practices, and all other forms of violence," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Saturday.


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