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Only 28 percent of Turkish Parliament personnel are women, inquiry reveals

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A parliamentary inquiry submitted by an opposition deputy has revealed that only 28.4 percent of personnel in the Turkish Parliament are women, with the overwhelming majority being men.

The inquiry, questioning the gender distribution among parliament staff including deputies, was submitted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu on Nov. 19.

Parliament’s deputy president, Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç, in response to Tanrıkulu’s  question revealed that there are 6,976 people working in parliament, 1,984 women and 4,992 men.

Candan Yüceer, a CHP deputy and member of a parliamentary committee on gender equality, said the inequality in the male and female distribution in the legislature reflects the widespread gender inequality in the country.

“In many political parties there are very few female deputies. This shows inequality. The problem has become invisible. Women should be more visible so they can make a contribution to the solution of their problems. We need to eliminate gender inequality as soon as possible. Quotas [for women] are important in doing away with inequality, but we need a change in mentality first,” said Yüceer.

Tanrıkulu also asked whether an amendment would be made to Turkey’s Election Law and if a quota would be introduced to increase women’s representation in parliament.

Bilgiç said there was no such legislation under consideration.

Currently only 17 percent of the deputies in parliament are women.

Turkey ranked 130th out of 153 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index 2020. It had the same ranking in last year’s index.

According to the “Women in Politics 2020” map drafted by UN Women and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Turkey ranks 117th in the category of women elected to parliament among 192 countries.

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