Gender equality or patriarchal dividend: Structural change in Turkish nursing


Elizabeth Herdman, School of Nursing, Koç University, Güzelbahçe Sokak, No. 20, Nisantasi 34365, Istanbul, Turkey. Email:


Abstract  Turkey is attempting to join the European Union and is facing pressure to eliminate many forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on gender. In keeping with these aims, in early 2007 the Turkish government changed the law to permit Turkish men to become nurses. Given that Turkey is a highly patriarchal society and that occupational segregation by sex is a persistent feature, it is important to examine the potential outcome of the legislative changes. The aim of this paper is to explore the paradoxical potential for Turkish female nurses to experience increased discrimination in a system that is restructured by legislation to be non-discriminatory.