25% of men in Turkey regards girls as children until up to age 15

  • UN Women has published a new report showing the perception and attitudes of men in Turkey towards child, early and forced marriages.

Based on the research carried out by SAM Research and Consulting under the leadership of UN Women, the report provides a comprehensive analysis concerning the perception of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), attitudes towards CEFM and underlying reasons and impacts of CEFM in Turkey.

Based on quantitative and qualitative data collected through interviews and focus groups carried out with men and women living in different provinces of Turkey, the report maps perceptions and attitudes regarding concepts such as childhood and adulthood, marriage age and practices, family and relations, individuality, gender equality, gender norms and CEFM in Turkey.

10% of men consider that girls who have started to menstruate are ready for marriage, whereas only 2,5% thinks that this is valid for boys

The research study represents a first for Turkey comprehensive analysis on how men’s perceptions and attitudes act as enabling or preventing factors for child, early and forced marriages. It shows the direct and strong correlation between higher awareness on the importance and benefits of gender equality with consequently more egalitarian masculinity practices and less tolerance and acceptance of CEFM.

Speaking at the virtual launch event of the report, UN Women Turkey Country Director Asya Varbanova stated “We can achieve gender equality only when men question and challenge power dynamics in their actions or their words and take responsibility for change. We know that through their actions and their engagement men can transform social norms, behaviours and the gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination and inequality”.

In this regard, the report provides an important guidance which will facilitate men and boys to play a stronger role in creating behavioural change, eliminating CEFM and achieving gender equality.

While the rate of girls who cannot attend school due to CEFM is 19%, this rate is 10.5% for boys.

Speaking at the online event, Sweden’s Ambassador to Turkey, H.E. Staffan Herrström stated, “This research is unique since it aims to understand the patriarchal and social norms that contribute to the perception and practice of men. Once the perceptions are understood, interventions that would work to raise awareness on gender equality among men and boys will be more successful.”

The findings of the report are expected to contribute to the development of further measures and policies towards transformation of harmful social norms and attitudes in Turkey in line with Sustainable Development Goals.

The “Research Study on the Perception of Men and Boys on Child, Early and Forced Marriages in Turkey” was published by UN Women within the scope of the “United Nations Joint Programme for the Prevention of Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) in Turkey” with the financial support of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

For detailed information:

Erman Fermancı, erman.fermanci@unwomen.org, 0530 405 4750

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UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women