Women in Politics Public Perception Survey Evaluation Report

14 Nov 2006

Introduction

The Country Program Document (CPD) of the Government of Turkey and the UNDP identifies gender inequalities in social, political and economic empowerment. The CPD further describes women in this country as a disadvantaged social group who “have been excluded from involvement in public, political, and economic life resulting in exclusion from economic opportunities and limited political representation and empowerment.” (CPD, 2006-2010)

The Millennium Development Goal Report (MDGR) of the Government of Turkey acknowledges unequal access of women to political decision making as a shortcoming of Turkey’s democratic practice:

“Participation of women in the political decision-making mechanism is one of the crucial elements of democracy. However, Turkey is still far from claiming gender equality in politics, where there is a major problem of gender representation. Although the promotion of women in the Turkish Grand National Assembly has more than doubled from 1.8 to 4.4 within twelve years, women currently hold only 24 seats in the 550-member parliament. Women are grossly under-represented in political decision-making in Turkey.” (MDGR 2005)

The Government’s MDG Report also recognizes that progressive legal action is necessary to enable Turkish women to have a level playing field with men in all areas of social, political and economic life:

“It is only with such a progressive legal approach that women will be able to play their full part on an equal footing with men. To achieve equality in the family, at work, in the political and civil rights arenas, and in social and cultural life, the primary strategy is the definition and implementation of the principle of equal rights and opportunities for both sexes.” (MDGR 2005)