NGO calls for more female politicians in Turkey
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoA Turkish NGO has called for more women to stand for parliament in the upcoming general election, stating that “equal representation is a precondition of democracy.”
“Today we are here to defend equal representation of women and men in all fields of life,” said Association for the Support of Women MP Candidates (KADER) President Gönül Karahanoğlu, speaking during a press conference in Istanbul on March 26.
Karahanoğlu called on Turkish party leaders to work together with women parliamentarians of all political parties to increase the number of female deputies.
“In political processes, women cannot only be represented by men. In order to say that all the Turkish women are completely represented in parliament, the number of female deputies should be increased,” she added.
Referring to the upcoming June 7 general election, during which 550 members of the Grand National Assembly will be elected, Karahanoğlu touched on the issue of gender imbalance in parliament.
“The female population in Turkey is almost exactly half of 75 million, but just 14 percent of the parliament represents nearly 40 million women. More women must be elected and appointed to decision-making positions,” she said.
“Party leaders must change their mentality; politics is not only a thing for man,” Karahanoğlu said.
There are currently only 77 female deputies out of 550 legislators in the Turkish parliament, and there is only one woman minister in the cabinet.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has 45 female parliamentary members, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has 17 and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has three. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has seven female MPs.