Biggest loser of November election: women

While the June election seemed encouraging with a 4 percent increase in female representation in Parliament from the previous 14 percent and election campaigning that highlighted the importance of women, the same results were not seen with the November snap election.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) dominated the Nov. 1 election, leading to the return of its single-party rule with nearly 50 percent of the vote. But it wasnand’t just the 50 percent of people who didnand’t vote for the party who lost, it is also the female population who will go broadly unrepresented for the next four years as the proportion of female deputies has now fallen from 18 percent to 15 percent. The Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), which boosted its votes by 2 percent, lost one female representative. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which previously had four female deputies, now only has three the party lost half of its seats from the previous election and currently has 40 deputies in Parliament.
Even the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP), considered the most progressive in terms of its policies for equality, lost most of its female seats. The party lost 21 of the 80 seats gained in the June election 32 female deputies entered Parliament in the June election but now only 23 will.
Most interesting, though, is the case of the victor, who, despite having dominated the election with an 8.62 percent increase and 59 additional seats, managed only a mere 34 female deputies down from their original 41 in June.
In reaction to the fall in female representation in Parliament, the Association for Education and Supporting Women Candidates (KA-DER) released a critical statement to the press earlier this week, stating: and”Turkey is once again living a shame to democracy. Women make up 50 percent of the general population but comprise 15 percent of Parliament.and”
Selina Dogan, one of the CHPand’s brightest new deputies with the June election, jokingly said, and”The Mehmets have increased while the Ayies have decreased,and” in response to the reduced female representation in Parliament. Humor aside, she told Sundayand’s Zaman, and”We were really hopeful with the results of the last election even though it was not enough but this was a hard fall, so we are quite disappointed by it.and”
AK Party female deputies are also very restricted in their ability to speak up on gender sensitive issues, resulting in a severe lack of women who are able to provide such a voice in Parliament.
KA-DER gave the government a list of demands such as gender equality in the Cabinet to be formed. The current interim Cabinet has two women: EU Affairs Minister Beril Dedeoilu and Family and Social Policy Minister Ayien Gandurcan. Dogan was also critical of the insufficiency of the Cabinetand’s attention to womenand’s issues, which are often swept under the umbrella of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, saying, and”We like to say it is the Ministry of Women.and” In 2011, the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs was reformed as the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, a move that female activists continue to rail against, stating it is a tactic to silence women and the seeking of their rights.
With the discussion of a new constitution in the works, KA-DER also highlighted the inclusion of women in this dialogue, stating, and”When new regulations are being written into the constitution, they should take into account the opinions and recommendations of womenand’s organizations,and” adding, and”At least half of the commission to draft the constitution should be women.and”
On Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed 15 women and 15 men to his new cabinet. When asked about this his response was simple: and”Because itand’s 2015.and” If thatand’s the case across the pond, then what year is it in Turkey?


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