Turkey's perspective on women's involvement in politics is positive

01 Dec 2006

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The results of the public perception survey, aimed at determining the public's approach to women's involvement in politics in Turkey which is being jointly carried out by the United Nations Development Programme and Association of Supporting and Educating Women Candidates has released in Ankara on 14 November 2006. The survey has been conducted in the framework of UNDP’s Women and Politics Project.

New Horizons - According to the outcome of the survey, 16% of the citizens who voted in the General Election in 2002 were not satisfied with policies related to equality and rights of women pursued by the political parties they had supported. The results showed that having a higher number of female candidates as compared with other political parties would increase the tendency to vote for that party among 25% of the voters.

Moreover, 82% of the survey participants want the number of women politicians increase besides the outcome that 77% think that the most important reason of women’s under representation at political decision making is “women are not given a chance”. The demand of the voters for a gender quota is reflected to the survey outcomes as 78%.

UNDP-Turkey Deputy Resident Representative at her opening speech reminded that the percentage of women parliamentarians is aimed to increase to 17% by the year 2015 for women’s political empowerment stated in the Millenium Development Goals of Turkey’s national report (MDGR), and if the required actions are not taken in prior to the 2007 General Elections even this low target is not possible to be actualized. Poole stressed on the importance of the public perception survey which sends important messages to current legislators and leaders of political parties on the urgency of moving in this direction. (Please click for Sarah POOLE’s speech text)

KA-DER Ankara Projects Director Ilknur USTUN considering the outcomes of the survey, stated that, the Political Parties and the Election Law in Turkey should be re-arranged as to incorporate the policies geared towards ensuring equality between men and women, and everyone is responsible for solving the women’s problem as the society’s problem, and whoever takes a serious step among the political parties, lawmakers and decision-makers of our society today will have rendered an important and historical service for development of Turkey. (Please click for Ilknur USTUN’s speech text)

The Director of Konsensus Research and Consultancy Murat SARI who conducted the research in the field brought attention to the results stating that female voters and women's issues can be decisive factors in 2007 General Election especially for the political parties facing the risk of failing to surpass the election threshold. Please click for Murat SARI’s presentation)

The political party representatives, women studies academicians and women’s organizations’ representatives who were also among the participants, also contributed with their opinions of women policies’ important positioning at the 2007 General Elections.

The survey that has been actualized under the Women in Politics Project which is being jointly carried out by UNDP and KA-DER Ankara, was realized in between 29 July-15 August by giving importance to reflect the real representation of women and men population of Turkey and also reflecting the urban and rural of Turkey. The survey, was was realized through face-to-face interviews at households with 1.000 participatory persons aged 18 and above.