2012-03-15

Turkish women cope with male-dominated society

Once in a nation that provided women with far-reaching rights and status, to an extent unprecedented in any Muslim country, women in Turkey today face a number of problems.

By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul -- 15/03/12

* denotes required field.

  • Button
Print
Reset
Decrease
Increase

Women in Turkey still cope with problems that stem from the traditional patriarchal values and male-dominated social relations in much of daily life. But they often question existing gender discrimination and domestic violence, and consequently demand improvement of existing laws in line with the standards of contemporary Western societies.

  • An activist with the women's rights group Femen protested domestic violence in Istanbul on March 8th. [Reuters]

    An activist with the women's rights group Femen protested domestic violence in Istanbul on March 8th. [Reuters]

In the contemporary debate over Turkish women's issues, the most discussed topic is the rising trend of violence throughout the country, in all forms, regardless of socio-economic and educational levels.

As a result of the pervasive patriarchal structure, nearly half of all women say they have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners.

Ayse Kaya from southeastern Anatolia, is a heartbroken 26-year-old, a victim of domestic violence for more than a decade at the hands of her husband whom she was forced to marry.

"I've witnessed a lot of things and am still witnessing. For instance, when I was married and gave birth to my first child, my child became ill. I asked my husband to take the child to the hospital. He declined. And my child died."

Women wearing Islamic headscarves either because of religious conviction or pressure from the family also face gender discrimination, preventing them from their right to education or employment. It is estimated that at least 60% of women in Turkey wear a head scarf.

Since 2010, universities across Turkey started to abandon the official prohibition on women wearing headscarves, but the restrictions in the civil services spilled over to the private sector.

Print
Reset
Decrease
Increase

Do you like this article?

6

3

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest published articles in your inbox.

We welcome your comments on SES Türkiye's articles

It is our hope that you will use this forum to interact with other readers across Southeast Europe. In order to keep this experience interesting, we ask you to follow the rules outlined in the comments policy. By submitting comments, you are consenting to these rules. While SES Türkiye encourages discussion on all subjects, including sensitive ones, the comments posted are solely the views of those submitting them. SES Türkiye does not necessarily endorse or agree with the ideas, views, or opinions voiced in these comments. SES Türkiye welcomes constructive discussion but discourages the use of copy-pasted materials, unaccompanied links and one-line slogans. This is a moderated forum. Comments deemed abusive, offensive, or those containing profanity may not be published.
SES Türkiye's Comments Policy
  • Anonymous over 2 years

    In USA, 50 million women are exposed to violence, what shall we say about this? Or, there is no woman in European countries who have not been harassed or raped, what shall we say about this? Be objective a little bit, dont’t attack the religion, that’s enough.

  • Anonymous over 2 years

    Hey! I’ve just met your site but you give yourself away immediately. I don’t know whether you’re competing in dishonesty. Shame, really very pity. Your aim is already quite clear in that picture. There are manipulated news in your site and all of them contains antagonism to Islam. We are aware, you can not cheat us. But at least don’t confuse people’s brains. And publish this comment. I don’t know whether it suits your books or not.

  • Anonymous over 2 years

    In this country, justice works in favor of men, this rule has to be broken, women should see this ignorance games anymore.

  • Anonymous about 1 year

    islam makes women property and slave of man

  • Anonymous 10 months

    I dont get the relation between headscarf and violence or headscarf and education ? your pretty weird please be consistant. also try making sense when writing an article, learn how write first LOL.

Name: Anonymous - Have your comments posted immediately!


Formatting Help Button