Erdoğan vows to increase women’s role in politics

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would intensify efforts to increase women’s participation in politics in the next elections. 

"The AKP has increased the percentage of women in politics from 4.5 percent to 17 percent and we will work to further improve this in the next elections," Erdoğan said in a speech at the International Forum of Women in Local Government in Ankara.

"We will work for our women to take place in both candidate lists and city councils at higher rates at the upcoming elections," he said.

In the last elections in March, 1,052 women were chosen as local council members, while 1,088 women were chosen as village headmen throughout Turkey. 

The mainly-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has the most active policy aiming to increase women’s role in politics as, though no such practice is stipulated in the law, in each local government it works with co-mayors, one woman and one man.

In March elections, seven women mayors were elected from the ruling AKP. Only 25 of the AKP mayoral candidates out of 1,243 were women, according to data compiled by the women’s rights group Ka.Der.

The secularist main opposition fielded 44 women candidates in local polls and 10 of them declared victory on March 31.