Gender Equality In Turkey-Eu Accession Process

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Gender Equality in Turkey-EU accession process


Empowering women must be a priority in the pre-accession process and all stakeholders must be mobilized to ensure effective progress and implementation on the ground of the new rights. This means strengthening the administrative capacity of relevant bodies and appropriate structures to monitor women's situation. Member States have a lot to share with Turkey and exchanges of best practices in different fields will enable the various actors to face the challenges brought by the need to adapt the welfare system.


The European Union is not only a gathering of States, it is above all a Union of people where both women and men enjoy rights, have an active role to play and benefit from policies. In this context, gender equality is an essential value of the European Union and a core element of the European Social Model. Indeed, empowering women in social, economic and political fields relates to questions of effective democracy, equality of rights for all citizens and the sustainable development of pluralist societies (Kemal H. Karpat, pp 375-111).

Equality between women and men is enshrined in the European Treaties and is the objective of various legal texts that must be fully applied in the Member States. In addition, the European Union has adopted a positive approach to mainstream gender in all policies and to fight against discrimination on the ground of sex. This legal frame and active policies and programs have led to real progress on equality of women and men in the European Union. This progress was acknowledged by the Heads of State and government in Spring 2006.

However, further progress in the European Union is still necessary. The Strategy for Growth and Jobs sets the objective of 60% of women employed in the labor market by 2010. To support the expected progress, the European Commission has proposed a Roadmap for equality between women and men (2006-2010), endorsed by the Council, which highlights key objectives, focusing on equal economic independence for women, work-life balance, equal participation of women and men in decision-making, the eradication of gender-based violence, and the elimination of gender stereotypes.

The European Union has thus established clear priorities with regard to gender equality. For this reason, women's rights constitute an essential element in the negotiation process. The candidate countries have to comply with legal texts and ensure effective implementation of the rules provided by the acquis communautaire (Jacob M. Landau, pp 56-268). In this context, the European Commission closely monitors the progress in Turkey regarding women's rights and the approximation of gender equality legislation. The application of the principle of gender mainstreaming in policies such as education, health, social services and employment, is also reviewed with great attention. At the same time, the European Commission supports all actors in the process of improving women's rights and gender equality in Turkey.

Implementation of Women's Rights

Turkey has accomplished important progress with regard to gender equality legislation. However, the situation of women in Turkey remains a source of concern, in three ...
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