Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the government is supporting women with children so they can stay in the workforce.
"We are making positive discrimination for women in working life," he told a Friday labor union meeting for female workers held in Ankara.
Erdogan's remarks came as the world gets ready to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8.
During his address, the president referred to the Turkish government's new incentives for working women announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Jan. 8 with the aim of creating a better work-life balance.
"We won't let employers block women with children from their maternal duties," said Erdogan.
He said that the government also supported a more active role for women in the labor force, adding: "Children are not obstacles to any work."
"Strong nations are built by strong families, and women are the guarantee of strong families," he said.
Erdogan said that women who wanting to launch their own business would be boosted by government loans and subsidies, along with other support for workplaces employing women.
"Hopefully, we will have more women deputies at the parliament after the June general elections," he added.
"We don't allow discrimination or injustice against women in workplaces or any limitation in their social life," he said.
He also lashed out at women's exposure to violence.
Violence against women has dominated the domestic agenda recently in Turkey after the brutal murder of Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student killed in the southern province of Mersin in February.
Erdogan harshly criticized those who marginalize and categorize women because of their appearance and clothing.
"Those who ignore women being sold just like property but impose bans on women who cover themselves because of their faith do not have the right to even spell the word 'women'," he said, calling such attitudes "the very abuse of women body."
Erdogan described as "real discriminators" those who take notice of not the victims themselves, but their clothing.
He accused other countries of being "all mouth" regarding women's rights but doing nothing when it comes to millions of Syrian or Iraqi women refugees "who bear burden of the calamity in their country."
"I never consider a country to be 'power' if it does not respect human life," he added.
Erdogan points to 'interest rate lobby' for historic lira slide
The Turkish lira's historic dip against the dollar is due to the efforts of the ' interest rate lobby,' PresidentErdogan has said.
" Interest rate lobby is working, but will be disappointed,"Erdogan told reporters Friday in capital Ankara.
The lira has recorded multiple all-time lows against the dollar over the week, with a dollar buying 2.6 liras on Friday.
Erdogan has criticized Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci for not lowering interest rates, which the president claimed was one of the reasons preventing the growth of investments and stifling the economy. Erdogan went so far as to question Basci's allegiances, saying: "You're independent to us but are you dependent to some other place?"
Erdogan said today he'll meet Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Central Bank Chairman Erdem Basci after Babacan's return from the U.S.
Erdogan green light to ex-president standing as MP
Turkish President Erdogan welcomed on Friday the possible candidacy of his predecessor Abdullah Gul in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
"The issue of candidacy is of course Mr Gul's decision," Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in the capital Ankara. "A decision to that end (to stand) would be good."
Gul is among the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party along with Erdogan. Rumors of his return to the party ahead of the June 7 elections had been rejected last month by AK Party spokesperson Besir Atalay. Gul had earlier hinted that he would make a comeback to the "movement that I helped launch."
In 2002, Gul was the first prime minister of the AK Party's twelve-year rule, acting in that capacity for a mere five months before leaving the office to Erdogan, the most prominent leader of the AK Party movement.
Though they have their differences on issues such as security versus freedoms, and expressed different opinions regarding the Gezi Park anti-government protests in 2013, Gul andErdogan have a long history of comradeship as the two leading figures in the Turkish political arena. Rumors of discord between them have been denied more than once by way of mutual gestures and common statements of agreement.
Strategies must be developed to prevent sexual-based violence that is used as a weapon of war in conflict-hit regions of the world, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu told the UN General Assembly on Friday.
Speaking at a high-level thematic debate on advancing gender equality and empowerment of women, Davutoglu said sexual-based violence is often used as a strategy to deprive human beings of their safety, security and dignity.
"Obviously, the elimination of the root causes of conflicts is the best way to prevent this terrible crime," he said. "Turkey actively continues to provide vast contribution to the efforts to achieve the protection and promotion of women's and children's rights in conflict-affected situations and in the aftermath of disasters."
The meeting was held as part of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, an international declaration of women’s rights set up at the UN’s landmark Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.
The declaration, which is described as an "international blueprint" for gender equality and women's empowerment, addressed 12 key matters of concern including women and poverty, violence against women and access to power and decision-making.
Davutoglu said governments need to eradicate the underlying causes of inequalities and that significant attention must be paid to the education of girls.
"With this understanding, Turkey together with Canada and Peru pioneered the International Day of the Girl Child initiative in the UN and we strongly believe that ensuring the schooling of girls and closing the gender gap in education is the best way to empower girls and prevent them from being forced into early marriages," he said.
Davutoglu said violence against women is a flagrant violation of human rights and cannot be justified on any social, cultural or religious grounds.
For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the attitudes of societies in all regions are still stacked against women.
"Rape continues as a vile weapon of war and we see too many examples of violent extremists suppressing and abusing women and girls," he said, adding that women lag behind men across an array of areas including political representation, wage inequality and education.
Advancing gender equality and empowerment of women is one of the seven priority areas the UN chief outlined in the "Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda," a action plan announced earlier this year that focuses on areas of priorities for the UN.
"We have an agenda; we can find the resources; we can monitor progress; we can hold ourselves accountable for results," Ban said.