Saturday, October 31, 2009

Turkey: Need to Recognise Women

Editorial from Hurriyet Daily News:
We are Turkey’s most feminine newspaper. A majority of the newspaper’s managers are women, a majority of Daily News reporters are women, and our publisher is a woman.

This is why yesterday we led the paper again with another story on the failure of Turkish society to fully embrace and integrate the potential and creativity of its women citizens. This latest report, the “Global Gender Gap Index,” prepared by the World Economic Forum, placed Turkey where we would have expected. Of 134 countries, Turkey was ranked 129.

We might quarrel with some of the assumptions in the methodology. If one were to set up a survey of lawyers, senior business executives, doctors and architects, Turkey might well come out ahead of several Scandinavian countries. But in the aggregate, we would still be scraping the bottom of the statistical cellar.For that we are outraged.
A particular focus on this survey was participation in political life. Only 10 percent of Turkey’s lawmakers and senior officials are female. That today is the 86th anniversary of the Republic, a state that gave women the right to vote before most in European states, only makes today’s reality bitter. We acknowledge as MP Özlem Türköne pointed out in yesterday’s article that the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has done more than its predecessors. Thank you. But it is still not enough.
The exclusion of women from political life and other sectors is not only unjust but a waste of intellectual capital. To date, no political party has taken this issue seriously. The Association for Educating and Supporting Women Candidates, or Ka-Der, has been ignored by the major parties and even sued by one. In our own discussions, many of us have been wary of the suggestion that the only solution is quotas or “positive discrimination.”

No comments: