Inclusive Perspectives of Women in the State Administration: Pre-Islamic Period and Post-Turkish-Republican Period Compared
It’s a well-known fact that a lot of articles were written on the ‘women isssue’. In this paper I shall examine general perspectives of women in state administration especially the Turkish society. There is usually a perception that politics is about men. Women also play a role in policy-making processes, in politics, in government, in negotiations. This numbers are less than men, nowness. Right to elect and be elected and the right to work in the public is equally granted to two sexes. Full equality has not been achieved yet. But, It is important to empower and encourage women for participation of public sphere help to increase women voice in the state administaration system. When we concern about history of the Turks, we can clearly say that women in Turks had opportunities from other parts of the state, and the world, such as, Greek, Arabian, even Christianity.
Key Words: State administration, Women, MPs, Turkish Republic, Pre-Islamic Period, Islamic Period
Gender discrimination is one of the most important problems of society from the early ages to the present. In general, there is a negative discrimination against women. Although this negative discrimination is declining day by day in every society, full equality has not been achieved yet. It is important to empower and encourage women for participation of public sphere which help to increase women voice in the state administration system. When there is increase of women in public sphere, it also provides equality especially first national government, and then the transformation, based on equality, would be occurred in all over the world. Turks who have established many states in history have always valued women. The Turkish woman was not limited to the tasks of fulfilling her family duties. Women have been actively involved in social life together with men and almost equally. Women’s participation in social life has increased the importance and value of women in management. Our focus is on all issues are examined in the pre-Islamic period and present days. We see that women are involved in the administration of the state.
In this context, the subject will be examined in 2 topics.
Turkish Republic period (1923-)
When we concern about history of the Turks, we can clearly say that women in Turks had opportunities from other parts of the state, and the World, such as, Greek, Arabian, even if Christianity. Turkish women had a chance thanks to Turkish society, Turkish understanding.
One example might clarify this concept; men were always innocent and clean, and women were the head of all evil, even if any crime was committed in Christianity. In the Greeks, women’s participation in the public sphere was almost negligible.
In the Pre-Islamic period, Turks were mentioned in the Bilge Kağan’s book about the position and role of the woman. God raised my father Il-Teris Khan and my mother il-Bilge Khatun in order to prevent the Turkish nation from extinction. This sentence is enough to show how advanced the political position of women is. In the Turkish state, Kathun taked second place after Kagan. In today’s Turkish, we see this name as a woman. The Kathuns, like the Kagans, sat on the throne of the Kathuns and were in the government with Kagans. And also, famous historian Ibn Batuta: the first lady of the country ‘hatun’ is located on the left side of Khan in the congresses, feasts and ceremonies, and the names issued for the administration say that they use the phrase ‘Khan and Khatun are ordered…’. In the commission, ınstead of ‘Khan says’; ‘Khan and Khatun says’ that the word has been added. Being of the Khatun, it is necesarry to be ‘Turk’ and also it is necesarry to come from noble family. And this nobility has two sides. It is not only related to father side, also related to mother side. If the Khatun who is not noble on both side cannot be noble. It is necesarry to have both sides. In the name of the Great Hun Empire, the first peace treaty with China was signed by Mete Han’s wife. For example, in this time women could have accepted the ambassadors. The ambassadors were accepted in European Hun by Arig -Han who is Atilla’s wife. Negotiations were held on political and administrative issues. In this situation, we can clearly say that women have role in the state administration. And also there are several examples of Women who participated governmental issue, government. One example might clarify this concept The first woman ruler of the Saka Turks was named ‘Tomris’. Her name means ‘iron.’ And other example, every woman in Scythia had a tradition of raising warriors like men. In addition to this, Orhon Legends are also important for women. The most striking point about the position of women in the inscriptions relates to her role in political life, in government administration. The woman who took part in the administration of the state was a woman with a title and had a special place and influence in the political and religious mythological sense.I prepared a survey to measure how many university students have true information about pre-Islamic period, especially, women role in governmental issue and knowledge about pre-Islamic Turkish state. This survey contained of 23 respondents who are university student, and their answers show us to analyse student’s knowledge of pre-Islamic society. As I mentioned above, one of the reasons I studied this period was that there was not enough information in our mind about the pre-Islamic period. But we have to remember that whoever doesn’t know his past can’t steer his future.
Year of 1923 is the foundation of the new Turkey. Women’s attraction to education, labour and politics, in other words to the “public” fields defined in different forms, can be defined as one of the characteristics of a secular state. In this respect, first of all, the Caliphate was abolished; on the same day, Tevhid-i Tedrisat passed the law and schools were taken under state supervision; in 1925 Tekke and his lodges were closed.Women’s studies in Turkey often start with women organizations established during the Constitutional years. Nezihe Muhiddin played a key role for the women emancipation, especially during the time of 1923. In June 1923, women formed a political organization called the Women people’s party under the leadership of Nezihe Muhiddin. After the foundation of the Republic, Nezihe Muhiddin, who expressed that women should have equal rights with men, was the advocate of this issue with the associations they established. Number of first elected women parliamentarians in Turkey is 13 during the time of ‘V. legislative year’ ( 08.02.1935 – 03.04.1939)..And this number is increasing in every new legislative year. At the present day, Figure:1 is representing actual number of MPs compare to gender in Turkey.
It is generally agreed today that gender discrimination declining day by day in every society Especially, Turkey made several policies to decrease this discrimination. It is important to emphasize, amendment a new Turkish Civil Law process was a key point for the encourage women in all sphere. There are many actors who are private, or public involve decision making process for all the policies. In this policy, there are both public and private actor. In private actor, especially experts who are mostly academician, such as, Prof. Dr. Turgut Akıntürk, Prof. Dr. Aydın Zevkliler, Prof. Dr. İlhan Ulusan, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Osman Berat Gürzümar  played key role on this issue. International Women’s Organization can be insipired, and the Turkish. Establishment Center for Women Studies in 1993 and KA-DER in 1997 have contributed to the institutionalization of women, and have provided women to have collective voices in both international and domestic affair. The lobbying objectives of women activists also were to increase gender equality and this could only be achieved by influencing public policies. Also there are public actors to implement this policy, these are political parties, in decision making of these policy there was a president who was Mesut Yılmaz, in the implementation stages of this policy there was a president who was Bülent Ecevit signed this policy. Actually, I entirely agree that this policy is a milestone for providing equality. The full and equitable participation of women in public life is essential to building and sustaining strong, vibrant democracies. Scientifically, voice of women increased during the 2000s especially in politics, governmental issues. For example, number of women MPs, number of women advisor, number of women in conflict resolution process… Also, World Bank and UN supported political participation of women.
In the Turkish society, Turkish culture, Turkish tradition, women are important. This importance provide society to have more opportunity than other countries. Turkey is doing various policies to achieve this equality, but at the moment, there is still no successful policy to achieve the equality. If I were a president in Turkey, I would start to destroy the roles that were created for women in society. I would make a policy to destroy thought of ‘anyone who sees women below men.’ To ensure equality between men and women, I would start to have brought numerical equality to ensure this equality everywhere. Some examples might clarify this sentence.When an increase of voice of women in public it also provides equality especially first national government, and then it can be spread all over the world. Turks who have established many states in history have always valued women. Women’s participation in social life has increased the importance and value of women in management. However, there are still a lot to do for the better. For example;- Equal number of seats for the number of women and men in the parliament,- Equal number workers women and men in governmental issue. (Especially women who are mother are exposed to unsufficient ability to work. Their argument; mother has distractibility because of children, and that’s why firms do not want to employ women, and also mother. But acording to some research, a mother with a child can not waste her time at work because she has no chance of making up for it later. This time management has an invaluable value both in terms of employer and employee).– Turkey should not forget CEDAW which means (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women).- Women’s Lack Of Political Experience (it should be supported to decrease this lack.)
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