Where Are The Women?

A quick post before my laptop runs out of juice. My power cord just died and it will be a couple of days before I can replace it since I’m in transit.

I wanted to draw your attention to an article by David Lepeska in AlMonitor that gives some numbers for the participation of women in the Turkish political system at all levels. They are taken from a recent report by the Directorate General of Local Administrations, based on 2012 Interior Ministry statistics. It is scandalously low, sometimes approaching zero:

Out of the 2,950 incumbent mayors in Turkey, 2,923 are men and only 27 are women. This corresponds to rates of 99.08% and 0.92%, respectively.

Out of the 31,790 municipal assembly members, 1,340 are women, which means that 95.78% of the seats are held by men and 4.22% by women.

3,379 people are involved in local politics as members of provincial general assemblies. Men hold 3,269 of the seats, corresponding to 96.74% of the total, while women hold 110 seats, accounting for only 3.26%.

There are 34, 275 village muhtars  in Turkey. 34,210 of them are men. That is 99.81%, meaning that the proportion of women is close to zero. There are only 65 female village muhtars (0.19%).

On the village aldermen councils, 137,848 men and only 329 women are members (99.76% and 0.24%, respectively).

Neighborhood mukhtars comprise 18,178 men and 429 women (97.69% and 2.31%, respectively).

In the neighborhood aldermen councils attached to the mukhtar offices, men hold 71,174 seats, women 1,409 (98.06% and 1.94%, respectively).

298,052 men are involved in local politics as opposed to only 3,709 women (98.77% and 1.23%).

Where are the women, Lepeska asks.


3 Responses to “Where Are The Women?”

  1. I am somewhat neutral in terms of political parties here–in other words I don’t toss my support behind anyone, not that I legally can vote or anything. But my wife supports the BDP of course, and I have been impressed by a recent ammendment in their bylaws that requires a male/female cochairman system for all the belediye candidates. They are also actively trying to recruit women into the bureaucracy to reach a target of 50% participation. AND, I must say, they are directly addressing transgendered people now as well.

  2. Nice summary but maybe you should have also included that since AKP took over Top Judge and Prosecutor Org, HSYK, dropped 90% of female judges all under the name of referendum.

  3. Can you point me to the report or source of Lepeska’s or his original post that included these data?


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