The BDP in Turkey and Its Approach to the Gender Question

Sebnem Cansun

Abstract


This article evaluates how the pro-kurdish party Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi (BDP, The Peace and Democracy Party) which was founded in 2008 in Turkey, deals with women’s problems. The research is based on three main pillars: The BDP’s gender approach in the party program, the BDP’s gender approach in the last national election bulletin and the declarations of the BDP members which appeared in one of the most sold dailies in Turkey, Hürriyet (Liberty). The BDP is a gender-sensitive party. It has gender quotas of 40 percent in its statutes and hence benefits from a significant female presence in its decision-making mechanisms. This sensitivity is reflected in the party program as well as in the last national election bulletin. The BDP declares its intention to further strengthen penal laws concerning women’s rights violations, open shelters for women exposed to violence, procure easy access to social security for homemakers, support female presence in political and economic life via gender quotas, supervise gender sensitivity of the medias, eradicate prostitution and finally implement CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women). In the declarations of its politicians, the support for the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) is evident. The women of the BDP gladly underscore that the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan supports women. The BDP places women’s problems on top of its priorities, right after the Kurdish issue.


Keywords


BDP; Turkey; Kurd; Gender politics

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F4070

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