Struggling Against the Myth of Equality in Research and Academia The case of women in academia in Turkey

This paper examines the myth of gender equality in research and academia by focusing on women academics in Turkey. Most studies argue that woman academics in Turkey are in a favourable position in quantitative terms. The relatively large numbers of women in academia leads to the perception that women academics and researchers in Turkey are in a better position, even when compared to their Western counterparts. Indeed, while Turkey has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates amongst countries with similar levels of economic development, and the lowest among EU and OECD countries, with 33% according to 2014 data, the rate of women in academia is 43%. On the other hand, this relatively high rate conceals important inequalities that women face in academia, including the heavy concentration of women in lower ladders of academic hierarchy, the gender-stereotypical distribution of women academics in the disciplines that are traditionally associated with women, and the specific disadvantages women face in recruitment, promotion and research processes. The objective of this paper is to reveal what is hidden under the myth of gender equality in Turkish academia and to understand the specific obstacles women face in academic career development through qualitative methods aiming to reflect women academics’ own experiences and perceptions.
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination, 25 - 28 August 2015


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Citation Formats
F. U. Beşpınar Akgüner and A. İ. Aybars, “Struggling Against the Myth of Equality in Research and Academia The case of women in academia in Turkey,” presented at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination, 25 - 28 August 2015, Prag, Czech Republic, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: