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Changing Policy Paradigms of Gender in Turkey

Policy Change
Political Ideology
Elifcan Celebi
University of Cologne
Elifcan Celebi
University of Cologne

Gender perspectives have had a growing influence on policy studies. The complex and contradictory gendered nature of Turkey’s labor market transformation requires attention. Policies targeting women have been expanding rapidly since the beginning of the first decade of the twenty-first century, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power. However, the changing direction of policies indicates influences from multiple, and in some cases conflicting, political and economic motivations. Starting from 2001, the EU accession process and ever-evolving women’s organizations had liberal and egalitarian impacts on introduced policies targeting women. However, starting from 2007, labor market policies and institutions signal a puzzling tandem of liberal and conservative outlook.
The focus of this research is primarily to understand the idea-based and interest-based processes that were at play in the policy-making processes and herewith the emerging gender architecture of the Turkish labor market. The major question this research tries to answer is why – and how – labor market policies targeting women have changed during the AKP-era in Turkey. The research uses systematic process analysis to examine the role of factors that influence the policy change process. Tracing processes of policy-making and institution-forming will shed light on the paid and unpaid realms of labor, and the driving forces behind these different set of policies targeting women. The research will contribute to the discussions on changing policy paradigms of gender, by providing a comprehensive policy analysis in the labor market. Since women’s engagement in the labor, market reveals the conflicts between both the public and the private domains, understanding the gendered nature of policy change in the labor market will shed light on the transformations in the societal relations.
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