Women ambassadors in Turkish missions abroad have increased significantly over the years helping them leave a mark in the execution of Turkish foreign policy.

Turkish women diplomats are successfully performing their duties, sometimes on difficult deputations.

The Foreign Ministry stands out as one of the ministries where women are well represented.

At total of 4,316 men and 2,554 women serve at the headquarters of the ministry and in its foreign representative offices. The rate of women working in the ministry has reached 37% as of this year, according to the latest data.

The increase in the number of women working in foreign affairs parallels with the increase in the labor force participation rate of women in Turkey in general.

Women constitute 49.8% of Turkey’s population and the rate of women’s participation in the labor force increased to 34.2% by 2018 compared to 27.9% in 2020, according to the latest data from Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TUIK).

The number of female ambassadors at the ministry started to increase gradually after Filiz Dincmen, the first Turkish ambassador who served in a foreign country, was appointed in 1982. The number increased to eight by 2000 and reached 19 by 2005, 21 by 2010, 37 by 2015, 60 by 2019.

There are currently 257 ambassadors working as part of the ministry. Of these, 193 are men and 64 are women, indicating that women constitute 25% of the ambassadors in the ministry.

While 39 of the female ambassadors are serving in foreign representation offices and 25 serve in the center.

Countries where women ambassadors are serving are Burundi, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Montenegro, Bolivia, Philippines, Mozambique, Cuba, Zambia, Thailand, South Africa, Kuwait, Namibia, Malaysia, Georgia, Colombia, Ecuador, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Latvia, Oman, Paraguay, Luxembourg, Romania, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Chile, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Moreover, nine female general directors and 16 female deputy general directors, who are currently gaining ground for becoming ambassadors, are serving at the ministry.

Thus, 32.1% of general directorates and 30.1% of deputy general directorates are undertaken by women.

Of the 1921 career officers in the ministry, 688 are women and 1233 are men. The proportion of female civil servants increased to 35.8%.

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