Volume 14, Number 24
April 15, 2008

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This Week

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Women in Parliament

güldal mumcuThe Community of Atatürkist Thought hosted the Republican People's Party (CHP) İzmir Deputy and Parliamentary Speaker, Güldal Mumcu, April 10, in the C-Block Auditorium.

In her talk, Güldal Mumcu spoke about the history of women rights, women in the War of Independence and women in the new Republic of Turkey. But much of her talk was devoted to the current state of women in politics, both in Turkey and internationally. Right now, ten percent of the Parliament in Turkey is made up of women. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have a twenty-five percent ratio of women to men. Worldwide, debate continues as to why women are generally underrepresented in politics, despite playing important leadership roles in community and informal organizations. It almost seems that well-educated women in society aren't even interested in politics. Mumcu continued, discussing ways politicians can encourage more women to be involved and become members of Parliament. Right now, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has fifty women deputies.

Statistics show that in Sweden the participation of women in politics is around forty five percent, in Norway forty two percent, in Denmark thirty nine percent, and in Saudi Arabia, just three percent. In all of these countries, gross domestic product per capita is between twenty five thousand and thirty thousand. So, why is there such a difference in political representation? Mumcu points out that religion, culture, ideology, unwritten law and education are key factors.

Güldal Mumcu concluded by saying that there needs to be more education for women as a whole. She is optimistic about the role of women in society, and in the Turkish Parliament. As she says, men and women should be equally represented in society. The genders view the world in different ways, and they need to share ideas with each other, for themselves, but most importantly, for Turkey.

Tuğba Zeydanlı (ECON/IV)

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