Gender equality policies make women’s subordination visible in both private and public spaces in local governments. Local governments have important roles and policies, such as gender awareness-raising public meetings, promoting women’s participation in the labour force, and advocating for women’s empowerment. These seek to build gender-inclusive and democratic urban centres and municipalities. Failure to achieve these objectives lead to deepened inequalities between women and men during times of crisis. The effects of measures taken to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, including stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, temporary school closures, along with increasing unemployment rates, have made women's private space open to male violence. Measures taken by the central government to combat rising cases of violence against women (VAW), in particular domestic violence, have not been sufficient. The aim of this study is to evaluate the policies of metropolitan municipalities to combat VAW within the international and national legal framework during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study shows to what extent thirty metropolitan municipalities in Turkey have taken measures for combatting VAW during Covid-19. The data is gathered by using the official websites of metropolitan municipalities, municipal council meeting records, activity reports, and strategic plans. This paper concludes that metropolitan municipalities’ efforts to combat VAW are not satisfactory, and the cooperation between these municipalities and central government should be strengthened to reduce VAW in Turkey.

Author Biography

Dr. Ayşe Güneş: Lecturer, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bartın University, Turkey. Email: aysegunes@bartin.edu.tr. *Corresponding author.

Feriştah Yılmaz: Research Assistant, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Bartın University, Turkey. Email: fyilmaz@bartin.edu.tr.