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Equality among girls and boys is a key driver of sustainable development and social justice. Its importance is acknowledged by the parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However, inequalities among girls and boys still affect millions of children throughout the world.
Turkey has made considerable progress on some essential dimensions of gender equality. The country has almost achieved gender parity in educational opportunities for children. As the host country and one of the very first signatories to the Istanbul Convention, Turkey has reaffirmed its commitment to combatting violence against women and girls.


HOWEVER, there is still more to be done.

Turkey ranks as low as 118th out of 148 countries in the gender development index[1] and 125th out of 142 in the global gender gap index[2]. Early marriage, for example, remains a major issue, with 14% of girls still married before the age of 18[3].
To ensure equal opportunities for girls and boys,UNICEF in Turkey calls on all political parties to commit to the following actions:
  • Enhance equality among children and adolescents by addressing gender-based discrimination.
  • Increase and monitor the enrolment, attendance and completion rates of girls and boys in all levels of education (pre, primary, secondary).
  • Combat gender-based violence, especially violence at home, sexual abuse and exploitation, and honour killings.
  • Increase the legal age of marriage to 18 and introduce stricter legal conditions and monitoring of exceptions.

UNITE for children, VOTE for children!


[1] “Human Development Report 2014 – "Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience"". HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme.
[2] The Global Gender Gap Report 2014, World Economic Forum.
[3] Turkey Demographic and Health Survey 2013, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies. (14.7% of women aged 20-24 reporting having been married before their 18th birthday).
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org