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Europeanisation of Gender Policy: The Curious Case of Turkey

Piril Kazanci

This proposal outlines a research project on the effects of Europeanisation on national gender equality policies. The research question is if the process of Europeanisation causes changes in the domestic policy of Turkey as a candidate country adopting the EU's gender equality policy and to what extent/how are women's and LGBT people's organizations included in this process individually? My main aim is, through a feminist perspective, to analyse the various impacts of Europeanisation on domestic gender equality policies in Turkey. In this framework, I plan to test these hypotheses: (a) the process of Europeanisation causes changes in domestic policy and the agendas of both LGBT people's and women's organizations, (b) the process of Europeanisation and the establishment of the European Women's Lobby and Fundamental Rights Agency motivate more organizations to operate both at the EU and national level, (c) multi-level governance, in which many actors participate in policy-making, provides a platform for local women's and LGBT people's representation at the EU level, (d) gender equality policy of the EU paves the way for more democracy both at the EU and national level in terms of stipulating active participation of women and LGBT people. The problem to be tackled is whether the EU policies trigger equal opportunities in employment and equal representation in decision-making since women and LGBT people face discrimination mostly in the areas of political decision-making and employment in the labour market (European Commission, 2009). In this context, two fields of action outlined in the gender equality agenda of the European Union (EU) are primarily discussed: equal representation in decision-making and equal employment (European Commission, 2000). The main argument suggests that neither legal convergence nor the length of the membership can explain impacts of Europeanisation on the domestic level alone. Rather, various gendered cultural norms and regulations are the main obstacles to the process itself to proceed. The method of process tracing, elite interviewing and report's analysis will be the operationalization which is designed to be conducted both at the EU level and the national level.

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