Female representation in Parliament declines

Female representation in the Turkish Parliament dropped to 75 deputies out of a total of 550 in last Sundayand’s general election, whereas the previous election had seen the highest percentage of female representation in Parliament.
After the election on June 7, female deputies represented 18 percent of Parliament. Since Sundayand’s election this figure has dropped to 15 percent.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which regained parliamentary majority on Nov. 1 by securing 317 parliamentary seats, has 32 women among its deputies. There were 41 female deputies from the AK Party among the deputies who entered Parliament after the June 7 elections.
The Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), which won 25.4 percent of votes, has lost one female deputy from Parliament since the last election, with 21 female deputies now sitting.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose representation has slipped from 16.3 percent to 11.9 percent, has only three female deputies in Parliament.
Due to a decline in the number of votes, the Peopleand’s Democratic Party (HDP) has seen decreasing numbers of female deputies in Parliament. A total of 19 female HDP deputies are now in Parliament, while the figure was 31 in the previous election.
Of those female deputies now in Parliament, 13 of them have been elected for the first time. AK Party deputies Hatice Dudu andOzkal, Sema Ramazanoilu, Emine Nur Gandunay, Fatma Betandul Sayan Kaya, Serap Yaiar, Handulya Nergis and Ceyda andcankiri, CHP deputies Burcu KandOksal and Sibel andOzdemir, HDP deputies Bedia andOzgandOkandce Ertan, Besime Konca and andcailar Demiral and MHP deputy Deniz Depboylu enter Parliament for the first time.
In 1934, Turkey became the first European country to give women the right to vote. Mustafa Kemal Atatandurk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, carried out legislative reforms to expand political representation for women — and he did so years before many other Western countries such as France, which only gave women the right to vote a decade later.
However, female representation in politics has only seen slow growth over the last seven decades in Turkey. A total of 18 women won seats in 1935, their first chance to run for Parliament. Up until the mid-1940s, women held somewhere between four and five percent of the seats in Parliament. After that, female representation fell to between one and two percent, until the effects of Prime Minister Turgut andOzaland’s fiscal policies of the 1980s were felt. The development of a new middle-class helped to expand female representation in Parliament to four percent in the 1990s.


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