What is gender and gender?

It is seen that even the most broad-minded thinkers of their time for centuries defined femininity as “the other of men” when it comes to gender. According to Aristotle, “the soul is sovereign over the body, the mind over the emotion, and the man over the woman”.

The concept we call gender refers to the innate, biological and physical characteristics of people. The concept of gender includes many concepts such as gender identity and sexual orientation. Gender identity briefly means the gender that a person feels, identifies with and declares, while sexual orientation is the concept that expresses which gender the person is directed to at the level of behavior and/or emotion. Examples of sexual orientation are; heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual (gay) etc. There is also the concept of LGBTI+, which we have heard frequently in recent years; Consisting of the initials of the words Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex, this abbreviation is used to express gender identity and orientation used by those who wage a rights-based struggle over sexual orientation and gender identity. If the ‘+’ sign at the end of the abbreviation “and more”used in the meaning.


Gender is a kind of social construction of ideas that started to develop in the 60s and 70s, defining the expectations, values, images, behaviors, belief systems and roles of women and men, that is, the roles and responsibilities that are socially imposed on women and men, differ from men and women. It refers to the expected or socially acceptable behavior patterns. These roles also differentiate the way and level of participation of men and women in social life. People learn and internalize gender norms in the interaction process in social environments such as family, school, workplace and media. In fact, gender differs from culture to culture, and it can also change over time or in times of crisis in a society.


Gender From the age of 0-6, especially starting from the family, the names chosen, the preferred colors (such as pink-blue) and toys (such as babies, soldiers, weapons), the adjectives used (such as lion, strong like a man, crying like a girl) In later ages, sexual information resources, popular culture, peer/friend circle, directed activities (such as sewing and embroidery course, sports activities) are learned and reinforced. Gender roles imposed on male and female genders from childhood vary in every culture. For example, in some cultures, the male gender role is brave, brave and protective, while the female gender roles are expected to be more naive, soft and compassionate. As a result, starting from childhood, the thoughts, attitudes and behaviors of women and men are shaped according to the expectations of the society and the roles assigned to them, and accordingly, their gender identities are formed. Therefore, the content of the gender issue and the related behaviors differ according to the societies.


Gender equality is to give equal value to the different perceptions, interests, needs and priorities of both women and men in the planning, decision-making and implementation processes. Gender inequality, on the other hand, is the inability for men and women to benefit equally from the rights, responsibilities and opportunities available in society, and points to differences in position, power and prestige between men and women in different contexts.

When it comes to gender equality equality does not mean “sameness”, Things that are the same need not be equal anyway. In other words, equality and difference are essentially closely related concepts, it is possible and actually necessary for individuals to be both different and equal.

Gender as a social role and behavior that changes according to the time, geography and culture people live in, and is expected to have according to their gender, is acquired and learned in the socialization process, starting from the family in the society in which the person lives. In many societies, individuals are forced to live in accordance with the gender stereotypes of the society, and those who dare not conform to these roles face backlash, mostly violence. Reactions can be verbal or social in the form of exclusion and stigmatization, as well as physical violence, often reaching the dimension of caste in his life. Those most exposed to this discrimination are mostly women and LGBT people. It is also possible to see sample news in social media and the press every day. When it comes to violence against LGBT individuals, the level of reaction and violence often increases due to the existence of stricter stereotypes about sexual identity and orientation. What should be talked about here is the precautions that can be taken and the applicable methods rather than the current violence and its types. When the subject is violence against gender discrimination, according to the researches, censorship and restriction are more common in these news, the right to life and whether the victims deserve this violence more than the private life. (Amnesty International Reports, 2007-2011, Hate Murders Report, 2007)

As a result, gender inequality still continues with all its weight in family life, economic (work) life, education, politics and social life.


Violence can be defined as any act undertaken with the aim of harming a person materially or morally. In other words, it can also be called brute force, excessive force, coercion. In Article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, promulgated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 44/104 of 20 December 1993, the term violence against women is defined as “violence against women, whether occurring in public or private life. “Any act of gender-based violence that causes or may result in sexual or psychological pain or suffering, or the threat, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty of such acts”.

Violence can be physical as well as verbal, psychological (emotional), sexual and even in the form of economic violence as it has been accepted in recent years. Although physical violence is the most common type, economic violence in the form of deliberate deprivation of the needs of an individual without economic independence; psychological-emotional violence in the form of humiliation, ignorance, devaluation, isolation; verbal violence in the form of humiliating, nicknames, making fun of his appearance, swearing and insulting, destroying his self-confidence and belief; Sexual violence in the form of marital rape, incest, sexual harassment, abuse, embarrassing and humiliating conversations about sexuality is also frequently encountered.


Some of the main causes of violence against women can be identified as social, biological and psychological reasons. At the beginning of the social (or sociological) reasons comes the patriarchal society structure. The patriarchal structure is one of the main reasons for the practice of violence against women, especially within the family. The man who wants to establish his authority in the family will tend to show violence to the woman he has seen in his own family before in order to establish and maintain authority over his wife, and the woman who has witnessed such acts of violence in her own family will often find this violence normal, and sometimes even exposed to it. He will even admit that he thinks it is his fault in these actions, and he will excuse the action and the perpetrator. In the 2011 Turkey Values ​​Survey, 27% of women said that some women deserve to be beaten by their husbands. As biological causes, some mental disorders such as schizophrenia in men can cause violence; Psychological reasons such as not getting what one expects from life, stress, the pressure environment created by economic difficulties, sudden changes in family life, social environment interactions can also cause violence.

In male-dominated societies such as Turkey, women have remained in the background in almost every aspect of life, and have been exposed to domestic violence the most, as well as the discrimination and violence they have experienced in work and social life.

It is possible to define domestic violence as a physical or any form of action, behavior or action that causes injury, intimidation, and emotional pressure on family members. According to studies on this subject, domestic violence is the most common type of violence in the USA, and a woman is exposed to her husband’s violence every 18 seconds. In France, 95% of victims of violence are women, of which 55% are victims of domestic violence. According to studies conducted in developed countries as well as in developing countries, 50% of the murders in Bangladesh, for example, are women killed by their husbands. In Colombia, one out of every 5 Colombian women has been exposed to physical violence by her husband, and one out of every 3 women has been exposed to psychological violence. According to the results of a study conducted in Turkey in 2003, 1133 people participated in the research, 1029 people avoided answering when asked about the violence within the family of the perpetrator, and 64% of those who were personally exposed to violence were women. Another interesting finding in the survey is that contrary to the common belief, the majority of women who have been subjected to violence are high school and university graduates. According to the results of the research, the economic stratum where domestic violence is most common is the middle stratum, and it is a surprising result that more violence is seen in the stratum characterized as high in economic income than in the strata with low economic income.


In Turkey, which shows a relatively closed society structure in sexual matters, the first factor that stands out among the causes of violence against LGBTI individuals is the prejudiced attitude in the society and the fear of the unknown. Even the discourse of “homosexuality is a disease and should be treated” on the sexual orientation of individuals reveals the dimensions of prejudice in society against LGBTI individuals. In particular, it is urgent and inevitable to break the prejudice in our country and to eliminate the deficiencies in the legislation. Currently, no concrete study has been participated in the international arena on forms of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and human rights violations, both by the United Nations and other organizations.


The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW for short), to which Turkey became a party in 1985, is important and different. Within the scope of the Convention, the areas where women’s rights are the subject of discussion and the most violations are determined clearly (politics, marriage, family, education, health, media, etc.), and the rights herein are clarified.

In order to ensure de facto equality, the Convention assigns states the duty to amend all laws against equality, especially the constitutions, to ensure equality through sanctioning practices, and to abolish all customs, traditions, customs and traditions based on the supremacy of the sexes over each other.

Apart from this, another international legal regulation is the Additional Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. It was accepted and voted on 30 July 2002 at the General Assembly of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. According to this protocol, individuals or groups of individuals claiming that their rights protected by CEDAW have been violated by a state party to the Protocol, after exhausting all domestic remedies, may apply to the CEDAW Committee. Decisions from this committee are not binding judicial decisions; however, the state’s failure to comply with the opinions and recommendations of this committee may lead to the emergence of responsibility on the grounds that the state does not fulfill its obligation to systematically discriminate and to show due diligence.

It was created in response to the fact that the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women did not directly include the use of violence against women.

Another international regulation regarding violence against women is the Beijing Action Platform, which was held in Beijing in 1995 with the participation of 189 countries, including Turkey.

Articles 5, 10, 12, 17, 19 and 41 of the Constitution come first in the sources in national law regarding the prevention of all kinds of discrimination against women.

Apart from this, there are regulations in the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721, especially regarding domestic violence. In the new Turkish Penal Code, which came into force in 2005, crimes related to violence against women were developed, for example, rape against the spouse was also considered a crime, honor killings were considered an aggravating factor, not reducing the sentence, the discrimination between women and girls was abolished, many crimes against the society crimes against the individual are included in the scope of crimes committed against the individual. With Law No. 6284, it is aimed to protect the family and prevent violence.

When we look at the regulations regarding LGBT individuals, there is no concrete legal regulation in our domestic law regarding violence against LGBT individuals. Turkey signed Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which stipulates the general prohibition of discrimination among the member states of the Council of Europe, on 18 April 2001, but has not yet ratified it.

As a result ; It is possible to say that Turkey has a long way to go to produce gender-related solutions, but taking quick steps can change many things immediately.

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