Salient fertility differences among different status groups of women on the verge of the new population policy in Turkey

M. Murat Yücesahin, Ankara University
Sutay Yavuz, Independent Researcher

Turkey has undergone significant social, economic and political shifts, and these changes have had a profound impact on people’s lives. This rapidly shifting social environment has also brought about substantial variation and change in institutionalized gender relationships. On the other hand, the most notable characteristic of the contemporary Turkey, are declining fertility and mortality rates and an ageing population. This final stage of Turkey’s demographic transition forms the basis of the new pro-natalist population policy. In this study, firstly, we intend to distinguish different status groups of women in Turkey by using a range of indicators which influence women’s status and empowerment; to investigate plausible differences in the knowledge and use of family planning methods and in fertility behaviour among women’s different status groups. Secondly, we aim to evaluate the possible impacts of Turkey’s new population policy on different status groups of women. The data we use for our analysis come from the 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. We are interested in clustering married women, by using cluster analysis, based on similarities with respect to the individual-level socio-economic and socio-cultural characteristics. The study identifies four different status groups of women: Low, Below Middle, Middle, and High. We observed clear differences in contraceptive use and parity progressions among these status groups. The findings of analysis are discussed in relation to the emerging pro-natalist population policy of Turkey.

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Presented in Poster Session 3