European Enlargement and Women: An Analysis on Turkey


The EU’s recent economic and political stalemate has found its most obvious reflection in the European Commission’s new president Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement on halting further enlargements during his presidency. Those who are fighting for better democratic standards in Turkey are certainly disappointed with Mr. Juncker’s mission letters, although the relations between Turkey and the EU was at a virtual freeze in the past years. This paper will focus on the reforms made for ensuring women’s human rights since accession negotiations began with Turkey, and how women’s achievements might relapse once the EU membership carrot disappears. Although legislation and action plans are adopted and implemented in the field of women’s human rights and gender equality; there might be fall backs in women’s access to education and the labour market, political representation, combatting violence against women, honour killings and the issue of early and forced marriages, all of which remain a serious concern in the Progress Reports. Press news indicate that 853 women were killed by their male family members in 2010-2013, and none of the government ministers have any remarks on the issue. This paper will analyze the ups and downs of women’s achievements in the period of 2005-2014 by looking at the legislative reforms, implementation of the new laws and regulations and their reflections in the society. What might be lost with the postponing of enlargement or rejection of Turkey’s membership will be speculated based on past implementation.

Author Information
Aysegul Gokalp Kutlu, Kocaeli University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: ECSS2015
Stream: International Relations and Human Rights

This paper is part of the ECSS2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon