Women Still Denied Political Power In Many Nations

At a recent conference in Istanbul on “Women and Governance,” several women commented on the slow pace of political power in Turkey for females. Winnie Byanyima, director of the UN Development Program, (UNDP) noted, “it is time to put the torch on political parties and to focus on political party reforms” in order to get women into power positions. She noted that few Turkish women had female mentors who could guide them through the political corridors leading to power. There is evidence quotas on women position in government or within party leadership might be beneficial but they are hard to achieve in current Turkey. Women also confront financial problems which prevent raising money to gain political offices.

Women have low representation within Turkish politics when it comes to influencing who runs for political office or who is a member of the Cabinet. Ironically, women have risen faster to power in southern Africa than in most higher income societies. Perhaps it is time for economically advanced societies to establish quotas to equalize the field of politics.