|Gender discrimination still exists today|
|ISTANBUL – A survey conducted by Bahçeşehir University on radicalism and extremism has revealed the deep abyss of discrimination that still exists in Turkey. By interviewing 1,715 people, both men and women, in 34 cities around Turkey, the researchers collected data on the country’s outlook toward the European Union, among other topics. One of the most striking results was on the subject of gender equality.
According to the research, 84 percent of participants agreed that a woman should ask for the approval of her husband to work at a job, which goes a long way toward explaining why the female labor force is small compared to European Union countries.
Seventy-four percent of participants agreed that being a housewife is as satisfying as working and earning money, another factor clarifying the low number of women in the workforce. Only 25 percent of the respondents said they think taking care of the home is not adequate for women. One percent did not answer the question.
Who makes the decisions at home
Most of the participants do not perceive women as being the decision-makers at home, even though they agree that women should take care of the household. Housework is seen as “women’s work” in Turkish culture, with women considered responsible for taking care of the home and children. Men are usually seen as breadwinners who earn money to support the household, which makes them feel like the decision makers and the leaders of their families.
According to the survey, 71 percent say men are the family leaders in Turkish society. Nearly 60 percent of the participants also said they think men are, in general, better at being political leaders than women.
However, 80 percent said they think women’s college education is as important as men’s education.
The research also revealed opinions on dress, with 72 percent of the participants saying that Muslim women should cover their heads outside of the house and 58 percent of people agreeing that women commit a sin when they walk along the seaside or on the beach in a swimsuit.
Although more than half the people said women should cover their heads and not wear swimsuits, a majority was also against violence. Sixty-eight percent of the participants disagreed with the idea that some wives may deserve to get beaten by their husbands.
While 90 percent of participants said it was wrong for a man to have more than one wife, only 78 percent said it is wrong to stone an adulteress to death. Twenty-two percent said it is right to kill a woman who cheats on her husband.
This research has revealed that there is still a different approach toward women in Turkish society. It seems that Turkey needs to make much progress before it acquires an awareness of gender equality.