Gender Equality Plans at Universities in Turkey


  • Mary Lou O'Neil Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey



The Gender Equality Plan (GEP) requirement for institutions to apply for EU funding appears to be incentivizing universities in Turkey to adopt gender equality plans. This paper uses Turkey as a case study to examine how the EU’s inducement to create GEPs is being implemented in universities in Turkey. Using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods, the paper examines the extent to which institutions of higher education have adopted GEPs since the EC implemented its GEPs requirement for funding and whether those plans adhere to the requirements established by the EC. The study then moves on to a discursive examination the thirty-six GEPs found at the time of the study. This aspect of the paper revolves around two questions: what assumptions about gender and organizations underlie the GEP and to what extent does the GEP propose to transform the gendered practices within the institution. Although a few proposed actions can be considered transformative, the vast majority of the GEPs at universities in Turkey do not undertake the kind of institutional transformation that is necessary to achieve sustainable and inclusive gender equality. While the GEPs examined here represent a step towards gender equality in academia, too often GEPs in Turkey embody either a fix the numbers or a fix the women approach which leaves the institutional and cultural structures that generate inequality intact.

Keywords: Gender Equality Plans, universities, intersectionality, Turkey.



2023-12-30 — Updated on 2024-04-18