Comparative Analysis of Women Empowerment in Local Politics: United States of America and Turkey
Keywords:political empowerment, women’s representation, local politics, the United States, Turkey
Empowerment is defined as a complex process of accessing, acquiring and providing resources as well as having capabilities and rights within different spheres of life. Being one of these spheres, political empowerment of women has been given top priority for enhancement of democratic ideals by international society. Most of the studies on women’s political empowerment focus on women’s representation at the state or federal level leaving local politics aside. In addition, women’s participation in politics is mainly studied through interrelated binaries of public versus private, political versus non-political, which in turn are nourished by the grand dichotomy of Western versus Non-Western. In the light of these discussions, this study firstly elaborates on the relation between political empowerment, political representation and local politics in the context of gender, following by a comparative reading of studies on representation of women in local politics both in the United States and Turkey. Conclusion points out how political representation of women confined to public versus private dichotomy would be transgressed by different strategies in different contexts.
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