Turkish TV's debate programmes overwhelmingly male dominated - report

More than 90 percent of all guests coming on to Turkish televisions’ debate programmes were men, a report by the Association for Support of Women Candidates (KA.DER) found.

Out of 6,114 guests on 2,089 episodes reviewed from 13 channels between July 1 and Dec. 31, only 582 were women, news website Bianet reported on Tuesday, while a total of 77 percent of the programmes, the debate panels were made entirely out of men.

The lowest percentage of women was seen on economy-focused Bloomberg HT, while the top two were the pro-government Kanal 24, with 16 percent women, and major opposition network Halk TV, with 21 percent.

“This is proof of inequality on screens,” KA.DER Chairwoman Nuray Karoğlu told Bianet.

“Even on Halk TV, which had the highest number of women guests, only one out of every five guests is a woman and four are male, which we regret to see,” Karoğlu continued. “This is an unacceptable result for women.”

Producers, for their part, claim they cannot find qualified women, she said.

Turkey has lagged behind in equality, with women’s participation in the workforce remaining at 29.2 percentas of April 2020. The country also ranked 130th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, dropping 25 places since 2006.

Speaking at the online women’s congresses of his ruling party on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saidwomen can “handle their duties to the family as they keep busy with politics and civil society,” in a speech lamenting what he called the failure of nuclear families in the West.