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Population size and demographic: 86.6 million. 50.63% of the population is female and 49.37% is male.

Women at Work:

In Turkey, female labour force participation stands at 31.8% in 2021 (1). The unemployment rate in 2021 for women was 15.62% (2). More businesses were owned by men in 2018, with a rate of 17% for women-owned businesses, compared to 83% for men-owned businesses (1). Of all those in senior and middle management, women represented 17.5% and men 82.5% (1). In 2013, the share of female employment in services sector, specifically in urban areas was 70.5% (3).

Women’s Participation in Parliament:

In Turkey, women were given the right to vote nationally and stand for election in 1934. The first woman in parliament was elected in 1939. The percentage of women in parliament is 17.35%, which means that out of the total 582 sears, 101 are held by women and 481 are held by men. The youngest member of the parliament is a woman, 22-year-old Rueysa Kadak. The percentage of female candidates was 21.52%, which means out of a total of 4200 candidates, 904 were women (4).

Violence against Women:

In 2020, the prevalence of gender violence in lifetime was 38% for women in Turkey (5). In 2018, 12.1% of women aged between 15 and 49 years reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence form a current or former partner in the previous 12 months (6). When it comes to child marriage, meaning girls between the ages of 20 and 24 that were married before reaching 18 years of age, the rate is quite high at 14.7% in 2021. By the end of October of 2022, 246 women had been murdered in Turkey (7).


When it comes to health and survival, Turkey is ranked 64 out of 153 countries. The healthy life expectancy for Turkish women is 67.6 years. Maternal mortality rate is 17 deaths per 100,000 births and 98% of all births are attended by skilled personnel. About 88.9% of pregnant women aged 15 to 49 years received antenatal care of at least four visits. (5) The adolescent fertility rate stands as 19.2 per 1000 girls aged 15 to 19 in 2018. About 60.1% of women aged 15 to 49 years had family planning needs met with modern methods. (2)


The literacy rate for men and women is slightly different in Turkey, with a rate of 93.5% for women, compared to 98.8% of men. When it comes to enrolment in primary education, we see a rate of 87.2% for women, quite like that of men, 88.6%. Enrolment in secondary education is quite similar for women to that of primary school, with a rate of 86%. Most women in higher education achieve degrees in Business, Administration and Law, with a 36.55% rate. (5)

Current Law and Policy:

Turkey has introduced laws to protect women against violence. As the first country to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO), Turkey commits to continue its efforts to integrate the Convention into national legislation and translating it into the other areas of practice. Furthermore, Turkey commits to open a women’s shelter in each province in 2013, establish 14 pilot Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centres, monitor and evaluate the National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women and replicate the national research on domestic violence. In addition to launching national awareness raising campaigns on the issue, Turkey will expand gender equality trainings for civil servants and law enforcement, as well as for media and students, among other measures.

Public spending - Inadequate free or low-cost, extensive and reliable psychological counselling centres to satisfy the needs of women and children who have been subjected to domestic violence. Where these services do exist, there is high demand and a lack of staff which can result in low-quality service. A very small portion of the General Directorate on the Status of Women is allocated to the budget for psychological services for perpetrators of violence.(8)



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