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Women and the city: female empowerment in the world, 1960-2014

It is vital to understand the structural and institutional dynamics behind female empowerment as its realization benefits not only women but also society at large. Drawing on an original, global-level dataset that covers 169 countries between 1960-2014, this article mainly explores the effect of urbanization onwomen's empowerment throughout the world. The article argues that urbanization has distinctive effects in different realms of female empowerment in politics, economics, and education, with the biggest impact being in education. The article further states that urbanization has a non-linear effect on women's empowerment with a diminishing impact at higher levels of urbanization. After certain levels of urbanization, other political and economic factors, such as how democratic and economically affluent a country is, will determine the discrepancies of female empowerment in countries with similar levels of urbanization. To further test the stated hypotheses, the article looks at the Turkish case as a typical example of a patriarchal society with a neoliberal economic order. In light of the global and local level analyses, the paper aims to contribute to extant debates and studies in feminist studies, urban studies, modernization theory, and democratization.