TRNC MPs attend TURKPA meeting in Antalya
Date Added: 23 November 2023

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Fazilet Özdenefe and UBP Deputy Resmiye Canaltay, representing the “Gender Discrimination Monitoring Committee in the Laws of the TRNC Parliament,” attended the Turkish Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States (TURKPA) Specialized Committees meeting in Antalya titled “Ensuring Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and Empowerment of Women.”

The first session of the meeting, which began with an opening speech by Çiğdem Erdoğan, Chairwoman of the Gender Equality Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, discussed “the participation of women in decision-making mechanisms.”

In the second session, the importance of empowering women in the field of education to achieve complete gender equality was discussed, along with the ongoing efforts in this regard.

In the third and final session, the efforts of TURKPA member countries in balancing work and family life to empower women were reviewed.

Addressing the meeting on behalf of the TRNC, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Fazilet Özdenefe stated that the observer membership of the TRNC in TURKPA was a significant development, expressing her satisfaction to participate in a meeting that provides an opportunity for member countries to share experiences in political, economic, and social fields.

Özdenefe also touched upon the historical struggle for equality of Turkish Cypriot women, highlighting the progress made since the 1930s in advocating for the right to education and a profession.

She provided extensive information on the common demands of women from different political perspectives, the changes made in Family Law in the 1990s, and the ongoing struggle for increased female representation in the parliament.

The deputy parliamentary speaker mentioned that the introduction of gender quotas in the Political Parties Law in 2015 led to an increase in female representation in the parliament, acknowledging it as significant progress, albeit not sufficient.

She also emphasized the continuing need to work towards gender equality and pointed out that politics is still a male-dominated field.

Stating that legal regulations are necessary to achieve equality in all aspects of life, Özdenefe mentioned the committee’s collaboration with all female parliamentarians to identify legal deficiencies and needs. She highlighted the importance of women being present in all sectors based on their preferences and within the framework of equal opportunities.

She also emphasized the importance of preparing curricula with a perspective of gender equality, especially in primary and secondary education.

UBP MP Resmiye Eroğlu Canaltay, in her speech, expressed that being present at the parliamentary meeting held under the presidency of Türkiye in TURKPA was a great honour.

She mentioned the long-standing desire to discuss women’s issues with sister countries and find common solutions.

Canaltay highlighted that most research on gender is often a comparison of women with men, but the concept of gender is broader and includes cultural, social, and internal definitions of an individual. She emphasized the difficulties women face due to traditional gender roles, especially in the political arena in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Addressing societal perceptions, Canaltay pointed out that the patriarchal structure in Turkish society hinders women’s participation in political and business life. She emphasized the need for legal protection for women in the workforce and mentioned that efforts should be made to balance work and family life.

Canaltay discussed the role of women in society, emphasizing their potential as leaders, and noted that societal gender roles and the patriarchal structure significantly hinder women’s time and energy in dedicating themselves to work and political life.

Concluding her speech, she underlined the importance of breaking societal norms and emphasized the significance of women’s experiences, attitudes, and perspectives in contributing to solving society’s needs.