World Economic Forum ranks Turkey among the worst in global index on gender equality

A recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Turkey 129th among 146 countries as regards gender equality. 

The Global Gender Gap 2023 report indicated that Turkey had dropped five places in the global ranking in comparison to last year. Moreover, Turkey ranked the worst in gender equality in the Middle East and Eurasia category. 

The rankings were made taking into consideration women’s contribution to the labor force, their access to education and healthcare, political participation and the rate of femicide in the country. 

Women’s rights in Turkey have deteriorated considerably in recent years, with gender-based violence becoming worryingly common. 

Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women are killed, raped or beaten almost every day. Many critics say the main reason behind the situation is the policies of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which protects violent and abusive men by granting them impunity.

According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, 392 women were murdered in Turkey in 2022.

In a move that attracted national and international outrage, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through a presidential decree pulled the country out of an international treaty in March 2021 that requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies and was opened to signature of member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011.

Since Turkey’s withdrawal from the treaty, Turkish authorities have been pressuring women’s rights organizations for their activist work.

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