A survey by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) highlights that the gender gap in Turkey closed more in the past five years, thanks to more participation by women in the workforce and the number of women in city and town councils.
The survey focuses on the state of equality for women, based on criteria such as population figures, access to education, employment and health care. Istanbul, the country's most populated city and its financial hub, as usual, dominated the list of cities with the best gender equality, a title it holds in similar reports since 2012. Less populated cities that also showed little economic growth also saw a significant improvement in closing gender equality gap, namely, Aksaray and Karaman in central Turkey, Van and Şırnak in eastern and southeastern Turkey and Bartın in the north.
The survey considers number of female members in city councils as one of the primary gender gap criteria. Though the numbers are still relatively lower compared to the number of men, the gap has gradually closed when compared to past decades. For Istanbul, the ratio of women in provincial councils were 17.06 percent while it stands at its highest with 26.77 percent in Diyarbakır, a southeastern province. Rates float between three percent and 20 percent for most provinces.