What the City Has to Offer: Urbanization and Women's Empowerment in Turkey

Çınar, Süleyman Kürşat
Ugur-Cinar, Meral
This article examines the relationship between urbanization and women's empowerment through the Turkish case. The article first tests statistically the overall impact of urbanization on women's empowerment by tapping into educational, economic, and political indicators at the province level. The results yield a positive relationship between urbanization and women's empowerment. We argue that these empowerment indicators demonstrate the necessary conditions of women's empowerment, yet whether these are sufficient for women to feel empowered needs to be further tested. To do so, the article utilizes an extensive original survey of 334 well-educated urban women in 43 out of 81 provinces of Turkey to examine the extent to which the results found in the quantitative section are paralleled by the actual experiences of women. The survey analysis reveals prospects and obstacles that well-educated women face in old and new urban centers. This nonrandom, purposive sample of seemingly empowered urban women shows that the barriers faced by these women would easily multiply when lower strata of society are reached. The Turkish case demonstrates that societal transformations such as urbanization have an imprint on the fates of women, yet further women's empowerment needs collective action at the political, legal, and societal levels.

Citation Formats
S. K. Çınar and M. Ugur-Cinar, “What the City Has to Offer: Urbanization and Women’s Empowerment in Turkey,” POLITICS & GENDER, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 235–263, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/46106.