The critical overview of the European Union gender equality policies and their implications for Turkey

Gökalp, N. Ela
Since the 1990̕s, interest in the European Union (EU) gender equality policies has increased among feminist scholars and activists. In this context, studies focusing on equal pay for work of equal value, equal treatment in education, and access to employment, among others have been undertaken and different dimensions of the EU gender equality policies have been a subject of much debate. This thesis is an effort to critically review the potential of these policies vis-à-vis their capacity to bring about gender equality in the EU Member States and examine their implications for Turkey as a candidate country. The fundamental argument that underlines this thesis is that the EU gender equality regime, which is mainly concerned with equality in the work place, falls short of effectively responding to the complexities of gender inequality within diverse women̕s experiences and socioeconomic settings. In Turkey, women̕s organizations have used the EU accession process to demand major legislative reforms. As a result, it can be said that ءequality before law̕ is now more or less achieved in Turkey. However, in practice, gender inequality is a pervasive problem in all spheres of life. In the area of employment serious gender v pay gaps exist and unemployment rate of Turkish women is on the rise. Women also face discrimination in other areas of concern such as in access to education and political participation and they encounter multiple forms of violence in both public and private spheres of life. In view of the diversities of women̕s experiences both in member as well as candidate countries of the EU, the thesis concludes that if the EU is to be a viable project in truly bringing about gender equality it needs to move beyond economics to include social goals within its core policies as well.


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Citation Formats
N. E. Gökalp, “The critical overview of the European Union gender equality policies and their implications for Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2005.