Turkish delegation member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and deputy from the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party), Serap Yaşar, said on Thursday in Strasbourg that women's representation in Turkey's Parliament increased significantly in the last decade, adding that the AK Party Women's Branch is the largest female political organization in the world.
Speaking at the PACE spring session during the discussion of Italian politician Elena Centemero's report about women's political representation, Yaşar said that preparing women for elected office could only be done by getting them into political parties. Asserting that the AK Party Women's Branch holds a teaching mission for its members, she said that obstacles such as those especially experienced in male-dominated societies can only be overcome by establishing a suitable environment that enables women ton enter into politics. "The AK Party Women's Branch organization performs its duties in 81 provinces, 957 districts and in all towns with a population of more than 5,000. It is the world's largest women's political organization with 4,242,322 members and allows members to learn about and participate in politics," she said.
Yaşar also said that women's representation in Parliament increased significantly in the last decade, and that the recent developments are promising. "Women's participation in Parliament during 2002 was at 4.4 percent, but the number increased to 17.82 percent in the June 7, 2015 elections. Currently, as a Parliament with 81 women as deputies, the participation rate is at 14.73 percent following the Nov. 1 elections. The 10 point increase of women's presence within the last 13 years is an important advancement," she said in the PACE General Assembly of representatives from 47 members countries.