The Role of Urbanization in Female Empowerment: the Turkish Case in Comparative Perspective

Start Date and End Date

01 April 2016
31 March 2018

Turkish Partner(s)

İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University

Coordinator

Dr. Kursat ÇINAR

Budget

157,846 Avro

Programme

Project Web Page

Scientific Outputs

There have been significant advancements in the project. 3 articles (2 of which are co-authored) are completed and currently under review in Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) journals. Dr. Kürşat Çınar also had two presentations (on February 26, 2016 and November 29, 2016) in Bilkent University’s Interdisciplinary Courses for Political Science, International Relations, and Economics majors. These presentations have reached approximately 300 students. Furthermore, Dr. Çınar participated in the Gender Equality workshop held by the Alliance of Turkish Research Universities and observed and participated by the TUBITAK staff on November 4, 2016 in Middle East Technical University. There are still ongoing subprojects under the auspices of the project.

 

Research-influenced changes in policy, agenda-setting Dr. Kürşat Çınar has created a research team at Bilkent University to fully engage with the state of female empowerment in Turkey and study the ways to enhance it. To this end, the research team has started conducting a field research throughout Turkey, which covers in-depth interviews and focus groups with members of female cooperatives. Female cooperatives have found to be one of the major drivers of female empowerment throughout the world and the researchers at Bilkent University under the project study the opportunities and challenges faced by the women’s cooperatives in Turkey. The findings of the research will then be shared with the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies so as to set agenda for our country and hence elaborate the status of women in economic, social, and political realms.

 

The improved exercise of professional skill Female empowerment is perceived both as a policy tool for the betterment of overall welfare of the societies, as well as a policy target both in Europe and throughout the world. However, women still lag behind men in education, economic affluence, and political representation in many countries, even in some of the most “developed” ones. Modernization, industrialization, and urbanization bring about several advantages for many women such as better education and livelihoods, better say for themselves and their children, and fairer political representation. Yet, urbanization remains insufficient to eradicate the extant problems that women have faced and creates new challenges and obstacles for many. The proposed project argues that female empowerment is a multi-faceted, multi-level phenomenon that calls for such a research strategy and hypothesizes that urbanization has a complex effect on female empowerment. To better understand the concept at hand and pinpoint the ways to enhance it, the project incorporates country-, local-, and individual-levels of analyses. The project also combines the strengths of quantitative and qualitative techniques to offer a fuller picture about female empowerment.

Tackling ‘grand’ or societal challenges

The project aims to shed light on the dynamics behind female empowerment, specifically focusing on the role of urbanization in the areas of education, economy, and politics by putting the case of Turkey in a comparative light with clear implications for Europe.

Industrial Innovation (including innovation in services as well as products and processes)

Female empowerment is not a phenomenon that relates to or benefits women only. Female empowerment unleashes the full potential of societies and improves overall welfare. Unfortunately, female empowerment in Turkey is subpar in social, economic and political realms. For instance, while female labor force participation rate is 50.3 in the world, 50.8 in the European Union, 52.1 in high income countries, 47.9 in middle income countries (Turkey is a member of the last group), female labor force participation in Turkey is 29.3 (Source: World Bank Development Indicators http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.FE.ZS). Female empowerment stands as a vital source for fulfillment of our nation’s human potential. This project aims to uncover the ways for women to improve and self-actualize themselves in the areas of education, economics and politics and hence pinpoint the means for the fulfillment of societal welfare via scientific outputs (such as publications, public meetings). This is the most fundamental and ultimate goal of this project.

Research-influenced changes in policy, agenda-setting

The proposed research aims to make novel contributions to the feminist studies, urban studies, development studies, and democratization literatures and enhance the competitiveness of European research. In addition to its academic merit, the project also has policy implications aimed at policymakers for future policies and projects, as well as the society at large which could be implemented throughout Europe.

The provision of Improved Public Goods

The improved exercise of professional skill

The proposed project argues that female empowerment is a multi-faceted, multi-level phenomenon that calls for such a research strategy and hypothesizes that urbanization has a complex, non-linear effect on female empowerment. To better understand the concept at hand and pinpoint the ways to enhance it, the project incorporates country-, local-, and individual-levels of analysis. The project also combines the strengths of quantitative and qualitative techniques to offer a fuller picture about female empowerment.

Human capital development

Female empowerment is not a phenomenon that relates to or benefits women only. Female empowerment unleashes the full potential of societies and improves overall welfare. Unfortunately, female empowerment in Turkey is subpar in social, economic and political realms. For instance, while female labor force participation rate is 50.3 in the world, 50.8 in the European Union, 52.1 in high income countries, 47.9 in middle income countries (Turkey is a member of the last group), female labor force participation in Turkey is 29.3 (Source: World Bank Development Indicators http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.TLF.CACT.FE.ZS). Female empowerment stands as a vital source for fulfillment of our nation’s human potential. This project aims to uncover the ways for women to improve and self-actualize themselves in the areas of education, economics and politics and hence pinpoint the means for the fulfillment of societal welfare via scientific outputs (such as publications, public meetings). This is the most fundamental and ultimate goal of this project.