The Status of Women in Turkey: The Intersection of Gender, Politics, and Religion
Keywords:Women, Religion, Gender inequality, Gender Roles, Intersectionality, Islam, Politics, Development
The current situation of women in general and especially in the Muslim world, is representing an array of changes and challenges that will continue to loom large in the foreseeable future, or are already underway, and threaten gains made in the status of women in the Arab world since the beginning of the twentieth century. Especially in Turkey, arguably the most modern of Muslim societies, those gains were very substantial, and concerns about efforts to roll back progress are especially disconcerting. This study attempts to illuminate the problematic situation of women in contemporary Turkey. The demise of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 allowed a series of political and legal reforms to change the status of women. Ongoing changes in social, political, and economic areas have not only increased women's role in society but have also broken gender stereotypes. On the other hand, religious and cultural factors continue to negatively affect the circumstances of Turkish women. This study explains the importance of analyzing intersecting identities to understand gender relations and women’s status in contemporary Turkey by reflecting on the current contextual influences on gender, politics, and religion.