I am in Opposition, Therefore I am: Under-Representation of Women MPs and Party Competition in Turkey

Taşkın B.

10th European Feminist Research Conference, Göttingen, Germany, 12 - 15 September 2018, pp.194

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Göttingen
  • Country: Germany
  • Page Numbers: pp.194


In conservative societies women’s representation in the assembly and their active work in the parliament are essential to enhance visibility of women in the public sphere and to improve democratization of the country. This paper argues that although ratio of women politicians in the Turkish Parliament which was only 4 percent in 1999 has gradually increased to 15 percent in the 2015 general elections, the numerical augmentation has not been reflected to women’s policy concerns. The analysis shows the woman members of secular opposition parties are mainly elected from the first ranks of the election lists and have more effective parliamentary work compared to the incumbent party; however in addition to high polarization between the parties that avoids women MPs to cooperate on women policies (even on basic children, women and human rights abuses), abolishment of the parliamentary immunity of the opposition party members in 2016 impaired parliamentary effectiveness of women politicians. This paper aims to question the possible tools to improve numerical representation of women and their effectiveness in the political sphere under political and social constraints determined by the hegemony of right-wing politics.