Violence by far the biggest problem women face in Turkey: Poll
ISTANBULViolence is by far the biggest problem people think women face in Turkish society, although this number has fallen compared to the previous two years, according to a new poll.
Some 53 percent of women and 57 percent of men believe that “violence” is the most important problem women face in society, according to the poll conducted by the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University.
Unemployment comes second for 12 percent of all respondents, while lack of education comes third for 11 percent of all respondents.
With the poll being conducted for the third time this year, violence also topped the list in the previous two years, with 86.6 percent in 2015 saying it was the biggest problem and 77.8 percent in 2016 saying it was the biggest problem.
The Women’s Studies Research Center suggests two possible explanations for the drop this year. One explanation was that 2015 was the year when the brutal murder of young university student Özgecan Arslan by a bus driver in Mersin led to a nationwide outcry, thus raising awareness. Another possible explanation is that the deterioration in the economic situation over the past year means that unemployment might have taken more of a priority for some.
The poll also once again confirmed that gender equality is not widely internalized in Turkey even by women themselves. More than 50 percent of women said they think men should provide the income of the household and that an unemployed man is a “weak man.” Some 47 percent of women also said women should work only if the household suffers from economic difficulty.
The poll revealed once again that lack of affordable childcare is an important reason for women’s persistently low participation in the workforce.
Some 21 percent of women respondents said they had never worked because there was not enough support for childcare, which is the most important reason cited for never having worked. Some 20 percent said they were unable to get permission from their father or family, while 17 percent said they just wanted to assume household responsibilities and did not want to work.