The increasing importance of gender equality and the inclusion of women is a significant indicator of development. One of the goals set out under the Strategic Plan of 2019-2023 issued by the Ministry of Justice is to increase the number of judges, public prosecutors and judicial personnel. The Strategic Plan provides that, as a strategy to achieve this goal, the principle of gender equality in the recruitment of judges, public prosecutors and other personnel will be taken into account. This article reviews and discusses the gender-based statistics of judiciary members.
Gender-based statistics of judges
According to the statistics published by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors on 22 September 2022, there are currently 15,321 judges in Turkey. Of these, 7,104 are women, which corresponds to 46% of the total.
With respect to the civil and criminal first-instance courts, the total number of judges is 9,524, of which 4,903 are women. In the regional courts of appeal, on the other hand, there are 2,266 judges in total, of which 830 are women.
In the administrative courts, there are only 394 female judges, which constitutes 30% of the total. In the regional administrative courts of appeal, this number is 141, which constitutes 31% of the total.
Unlike the other courts, the majority of judges in the Court of Cassation are women: there are 543 female judges out of 803 judges in total. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis in the Strategic Plan of 2019-2023 issued by the Presidency of the Court of Cassation shows that the percentage of female employees working as rapporteur judges and other personnel is deemed to be high, which is specified as a strength.
In the Council of State, 211 out of 432 judges are women. In the Constitutional Court, this number is three out of eight judges.
Gender-based statistics of prosecutors
According to the statistics published by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, there are 7,494 prosecutors in total in Turkey. Of these, 1,222 are women, which corresponds to 16% of the total.
In the civil and criminal first-instance courts, the total number of prosecutors is 6,857, of which 1,145 are women. In the regional court of appeals, there are 316 prosecutors in total and 19 of them are women.
In the Court of Cassation, there are 32 female prosecutors out of 199. In the Council of State, on the other hand, 26 out of 44 judges are women.
Gender-based statistics of lawyers
According to the Judicial Statistics of 2021 issued by the General Directorate of Judicial Registry and Statistics, 74,483 out of 161,015 lawyers registered to bars in Turkey are women, which corresponds to 46.3%. The number of female lawyers appears to have increased between 2014 and 2021. Indeed, the percentage of female lawyers, which was 40.5% in 2014, increased to 46.3% in 2021.
Gender-based statistics of other judicial members
The Judicial Statistics of 2021 indicate that the distribution of personnel at the Ministry of Justice based on gender is as follows:
- technical services – there are 1,571 employees in total, 259 of which are women (16.5%);
- health services – there are 1,056 employees in total, 706 of which are women (66.9%);
- auxiliary services – there are 5,429 employees in total, 1,768 of which are women (32.6%);
- permanent employees – there are 5,538 employees in total, 1,971 of which are women (35.6%);
- general administrative services – there are 66,888 employees in total, 30,867 of which are women (46.1%); and
- forensic medicine institute – there are 2,255 employees in total, 981 of which are women (43.5%).
Based on the recruitment strategy set out in the Strategic Plan of 2019-2023 issued by the Ministry of Justice, Turkey aspires to support the inclusion of women in the judicial system. That said, although Turkey is showing an upward trend compared with certain other countries, the current statistics show that the number of female employees barely reaches half of the total number in each category of services. In any case, it must be underlined that quantitative equality is not enough to ensure full parity between the genders in broader terms, which requires further effort and commitment.
First published by ILO - Litigation Newsletter in 07.03.2023.