Category Archives: demographics

The Limp Economics of Erdoğan’s Vagina Monologues

You would have to be half dead from egg-toddy to fail to notice that Erdoğan’s talking about the Ladies again. Especially: their privates.

At a recent wedding, Turkey’s president had the following to say:

“One or two (children) is not enough. To make our nation stronger, we need a more dynamic and younger population. We need this to take Turkey above the level of modern civilizations. In this country, they (opponents) have been engaged in the treason of birth control for years and sought to dry up our generation.”

Erdogan’s preoccupation with Turks getting it on, sans capote, is nothing new. In fact, he’s been giving Turkish women more or less subtle fertility advice for a while now, having previously called abortion murderpleaded Turkish women to have more children, frequently reminding anyone willing to listen that women’s primary role is motherhood and that the jobs of men are unsuitable for women.

According to the latest Demographic Health Survey in Turkey from 2008, around 73 percent of female survey respondents said they used some form of contraceptives (46 percent a “modern method” like the pill, condom, or IUD) and unmet need for contraceptives was around 6 percent. What makes use of contraceptives in Turkey stand out, even among its peers (let’s for a moment assume Tunisia is one, where use of modern methods is 50 percent), is that modern use in Turkey tends to focus more on condoms than pills, 16.9 and 5.3 percent respectively in Turkey, compared to the reverse in Tunisia, 1.1 and 19 percent respectively. As such, even though modern methods of contraceptives have become commonplace in Turkey, on interpretation is that the bias toward condoms reflects men exerting greater control over birth control.

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