Women's role in religious authority expands

Published 09.01.2018 00:00

The state-run religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB), also known as Diyanet, will hire more women for top positions, a deputy prime minister announced. Bekir Bozdağ said in a speech that all muftis senior representatives of the religious authority in provinces and districts would have at least one female deputy.

Women currently serve as deputies in some cities, but Ankara plans to expand it to all 81 provinces.

The practice of hiring women as deputy muftis started 12 years ago as Diyanet's bid to reach out to the female faithful, but it remained a move limited to a few cities. Over the past decade, Turkey sought to increase the engagement of more women in religious institutions. Since its inception in 1924, women's role in Diyanet was largely confined to serving as preachers and tutors of Quran lessons in neighborhood mosques.

In November 2017, Huriye Martı, a professor of Islamic sciences, became the first female deputy president of Diyanet.

Bozdağ said they were determined to boost women's roles in society, especially in terms of employment.

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