Women MPs allowed to wear trousers in Parliament

Women MPs allowed to wear trousers in Parliament


By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara

After the Islamic headscarf, Theban on women wearing trousers in the Turkish parliament was also lifted. The Internal Rules Committee of the Turkish Parliament decided Turkish MPs could wear suits or jackets, even trousers that weren’t allowed up until recently.

In 2011, Republican People’s Party MP Safak Pavey had asked permission to wear trousers but her request was turned down. The MP has a prosthetic limb and photographs of her in Parliament had reopened the discussion on the need to change regulations.

The rule change occurred two years on and it is remarkable how it followed the lifting of the ban on headscarves worn in the Parliament House resulting in four MPs of the ruling Justice & Development Party to enter the assembly bearing headscarves last week.

The Rules Committee, however, clarifies that “women parliamentarians can wear pants which are made from fabric.”

Following the aggressive statements made by Erdogan on the cohabitation of male and female students, the debate on what women are allowed to wear in Parliament raises skepticism in Turkey as many analysts in the country believe Turkey is trying to address issues that in Europe have been resolved decades ago.