Women in our country have the right to be elected to the headmen and councils of the elders with the amendment of the village law on October 26, 1933. The women in Turkey obtained their right to vote and to be elected as mukhtars and councilor with the amendment made in Village Affairs Act on 26 October 1933. Gül Esin Aydın has become the first elected female mukhtar of Turkey by the elections held on 2 November 1933 in Demirci Dereköyü of Güre district of Aydin. Since then, women have barely involved in the mukhtar seat.
As a result of the elections held in 2014, there has been 50292 mukhtars in total elected including 31963 neighborhood mukhtars and 18329 village mukhtars. The number of female mukhtars is only 675. There is no female mukhtar in Adıyaman, Bitlis, Hakkari, Iğdır, Muş, Batman, Şırnak and Sinop. Representation of women in governments and decision-making mechanisms, starting from villages and neighborhoods, is one of the most important steps in the establishment of de facto democracy.
As KA.DER, we find that the mukhtar seat as an institution, which is peculiar to our country and which exists as an administration model as of 1829, is substantially significant and valuable in terms of women’s participation in the political leadership opportunities.
In this sense, we have been actualizing “Female Mukhtars” project in order to contribute to the increase in the representation of women in mukhtar and councilor seats, which form the basis of local governments as neighborhood and village units in our country; to increase the visibility of the women issues locally and to offer recommendations regarding solutions.
Within the scope of the project; it is aimed to reach 75 women who want to be mukhtars, with the trainings to be held in 5 cities primarily. In İstanbul, İzmir, Adana, Mersin and Balıkesir, two-day trainings will be provided to the mukhtar candidates, experiences will be shared and a pool of mukhtar candidates will be created. Then, field studies will be started; nomination and campaigning processes will be monitored.