While Turkey's minister responsible for women's affairs heads to New York to update the United Nations about the status of women in Turkey, a shadow report has been issued by a coalition of some 20 NGO's working in the field. Their report is fairly bleak. As the Hurriyet Daily News reports:
Since 2005, “little progress has been made toward eliminating discrimination against women in Turkey, and the political will displayed by the state to establish comprehensive gender equality has been inadequate,” said the report, which was drafted by a nationwide organization made up of more than 20 women’s organizations operating as a working group under the umbrella of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW.
Conservative gender roles in Turkey, bolstered by the statements of top government officials, contribute to the challenges faced by the country’s women, the shadow report said, noting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “recently made several public statements calling on women in Turkey to give birth to a minimum of three children,” which it called “a shocking expression of conservatism at the highest level of administration.”
“The burden of housework is left entirely on women’s shoulders, reinforcing their traditional role as housewives and hampering their ability to work in a paid job,” the report said, adding that the rate of women’s participation in the labor force in Turkey was one of the lowest in the world, at 24.6 percent, and has been following a downward trend since 2005. According to the report, the government has not made the necessary effort to change the situation.
Meanwhile, statistics released by the government earlier this year showed what a thick glass ceiling the Turkish state has. From a Today's Zaman report about that:
All undersecretaries in Turkish ministries are male. Out of 79 deputy undersecretaries, only 2 are female. Out of 96 director generals in Turkish ministries, 91 are male. All of the 175 governors in Turkey are male. Out of 450 deputy governors, 12 are female. Out of 8,284 high level bureaucrats, 7,713 are male while only 571 seats are taken by female public servants.